Facebook, Instagram to charge users for services

Facebook, Instagram to charge users for services

Meta Platforms is considering the introduction of ad-free subscription plans for Instagram and Facebook users in Europe, according to two individuals with knowledge of the matter as of Tuesday.

Several pricing options were explored, with one source suggesting a monthly fee of 10 euros ($10.49) as the most viable option, while another source indicated that this implementation would take place in the coming months.

This proposal is Meta's effort to adhere to European Union regulations that could restrict its ability to personalize ads for users without their consent, potentially impacting its primary source of revenue. By offering users a choice between a free, ad-supported plan and a paid subscription, Meta aims to address regulatory concerns without significantly affecting its advertising business.

Comparatively, Netflix charges 7.99 euros for its basic streaming subscription, YouTube Premium by Alphabet costs approximately 12 euros, and Spotify's Premium service is priced at around 11 euros. On mobile devices, the cost for a single account would rise to approximately 13 euros due to commissions charged by Apple's and Google's app stores, as mentioned by the second source.

Earlier this year, Meta received a 390 million euro fine from Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner and was prohibited from using the "contract" legal basis to deliver targeted ads based on users' online activities. In response, Meta expressed its intention to seek user consent in the EU before allowing businesses to target ads, in order to comply with evolving regulatory requirements in the region.

A Meta spokesperson stated that the company values "free services supported by personalized ads" but is exploring "options to ensure we comply with evolving regulatory requirements."

The Data Protection Commission of Ireland and the European Commission did not provide comments in response to Reuters' requests for statements on the matter.