Meta introduces ad-free plans for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe

Instagram logo on OnePlus 9
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Meta is rolling out an ad-free subscription option beginning in November for Facebook and Instagram users in the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland.
  • Users will be able to subscribe for €9.99/month on the web or €12.99/month on iOS or Android devices. 
  • The company is offering the ad-free plan to comply with “evolving European regulations.”

Several weeks ago, Meta announced intentions to introduce an ad-free subscription plan for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe. Now, the company confirmed it is indeed rolling out the ad-free plan starting in November.

In a company blog post, the tech giant noted that users in the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland will be able to sign up for €9.99/month on the web or for €12.99/month if they’re subscribing on iOS or Android devices. The difference in prices accounts for the cut of in-app purchases that the Apple and Google Play Stores take. 

Meta goes on to clarify that folks will still have the choice to use Facebook or Instagram for free with ads, as the company highlights that “we believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised products and services regardless of their economic status.”

The subscription will initially apply to all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts, but the company will eventually charge extra if you have accounts. Meta says that starting March 1, 2024, “an additional fee of €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android will apply for each additional account.” 

The company notes that it’s starting to offer the ad-free plan to comply with “evolving European regulations,” which include stricter requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the Digital Markets Act.  

In the last few months, reports have emerged that indicated that Meta would start offering ad-free plans to satiate EU regulators, who had no qualms previously penalizing the company. Last year, for instance, Meta came under fire by the EU over claims that Instagram mishandled children’s data by allowing users under the age of 18 to switch their profiles to business accounts. 

The company further highlights that "while people are subscribed, their information will not be used for ads," which is consistent with Meta's strategy of shifting towards the GDPR's legal basis of consent when it comes to data being used for advertising purposes.

The new subscription option — which follows X adding new tiers to its premium subscription (formerly Twitter Blue) — marks the first time that Meta is introducing ad-free tiers to its social media platforms.