Instagram and Facebook to offer ad-free subscription in Europe

Meta announced on Monday that it will offer users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland the option to subscribe to a monthly plan to use Instagram and Facebook without ads to comply with the “evolving European regulations.” 

Starting in November, users will have the option to either continue using Facebook and Instagram for free with ads or subscribe to an ad-free experience, according to Meta’s announcement.

The pricing will vary, starting at €9.99 per month for web access and €12.99 per month for iOS and Android devices. This subscription fee will cover a user’s connected Facebook and Instagram accounts. Starting from March 1, 2024, there will be an extra charge of €6 per month for web access and €8 per month for mobile access for any additional accounts.

“We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised products and services regardless of their economic status. It also allows small businesses to reach potential customers, grow their business and create new markets, driving growth in the European economy. And like other companies we’ll continue to advocate for an ad-supported internet, even with our new subscription offering in the EU, EEA and Switzerland.  But we respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them,” Meta said.

Meta has faced significant antitrust scrutiny within the EU. In December 2022, The EU’s European Data Protection Board (EDPB) ruled that the social media giant cannot require its users to agree to personalized ads based on their activity. In January, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission fined Meta €390 million for breaching EU privacy laws with its advertising practices on Facebook and Instagram. Earlier this month, the WSJ first reported Meta’s plans to launch ad-free subscriptions. 

Meta also said today that advertisers will retain the ability to run personalized advertising campaigns in Europe, targeting individuals who opt for a no-cost, ad-supported online service.

“Going forward, we will continue to invest to build new tools that preserve the value that both people and businesses get out of personalised advertising, while allowing users to control their ads experience on our platforms.  The subscription for no ads will be available for people aged 18 and up, and we’re continuing to explore how to provide teens with a useful and responsible ad experience given this evolving regulatory landscape,” the company said.

Written by Sophie Blake


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