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Meta Considers Paid Facebook and Instagram Versions for Ad-Free Experience in the EU: Report

Meta mulls ad-free paid Facebook & Instagram in EU amid regulatory pressure. Privacy concerns addressed; costs TBD.
Meta Considers Paid Facebook and Instagram Versions for Ad-Free Experience in the EU: Report

Meta Platforms is contemplating the introduction of paid versions of Facebook and Instagram without advertisements for users within the European Union (EU), in response to increased regulatory scrutiny, as reported by The New York Times on Friday.

Subscribers to these paid services would enjoy an ad-free experience, while Meta will continue to provide free versions of the apps with ads for EU users, according to information from three sources familiar with the company's plans.

The report suggests that this potential move could help Meta address privacy concerns and navigate other regulatory challenges from the EU, offering users an alternative to the company's ad-driven services that rely on data analysis.

The social media giant has been the target of EU antitrust regulators and recently lost a legal battle in July against a 2019 German order that prohibited the collection of user data without consent.

The cost of the paid app versions remains uncertain, as noted in the NYT report.

Furthermore, the social media behemoth has faced significant fines from EU authorities, amounting to NOK 1 million per day since August 14, for privacy violations related to data harvesting and targeted advertising. The company is currently seeking a temporary injunction against this order issued by Norway's data protection authority, which imposes daily fines for the next three months. In response to privacy breaches identified by the regulator, Datatilsynet, the company has been under scrutiny since July 17.

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