Meta’s new ad-free subscription option, priced at €9.99 per month for EU users, comes with additional restrictions that users might not have initially realized. The subscription not only eliminates ads from the user’s feed but also disables the ability to run ads, boost posts for personal or business profiles, or participate in partnership ads on Instagram or Facebook. This limitation particularly affects users with linked Pages in the app.
According to Meta’s documentation, subscribing to the ad-free option means giving up the ability to:
1. Run ads and boost posts for an Instagram account.
2. Run ads and boost posts for a Facebook profile (e.g., boosting Marketplace listings).
3. Run ads for a Facebook Page if the Page is linked to an Instagram account subscribed to the ad-free option.
4. Participate in partnership ads on Instagram or Facebook.
5. Monetize with Ads on Reels and In-stream ads.
While users can still run ads for a linked Facebook Page that they manage (without a connected Instagram account subscribed to the ad-free option), there are clear restrictions tied to the subscription. This move by Meta aligns with its strategy to maintain its existing ad-based revenue model while offering an ad-free option to users who are willing to pay. The ad-free offering serves as a way for Meta to navigate EU rules on data permissions and usage, allowing users to opt out of personalized ads by subscribing to the service.
It’s evident that Meta expects the majority of users to stick with the ad-supported model, and the additional limitations on ad options for subscribers might act as a deterrent to encourage more users to remain with the ad-supported experience. Despite offering an ad-free alternative, Meta appears to prioritize its core business model, where personalized ads play a crucial role in revenue generation.
Meta announced in late October that it would 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.”