Say Goodbye to Ads: Facebook and Instagram’s Subscription Arrives in EU

Meta-owned platforms Instagram and Facebook are launching paid subscriptions in parts of Europe that will provide users with an ad-free experience, the BBC reports.

People using these social media platforms in the EU will be able to will be able to pay €9.99 (£8.72) per month for an ad-free experience.

Revisiting the EU Fine

Though not available in the UK, people using these Meta-owned platforms in the EU will have adverts removed if they choose to sign up for the subscription.

This comes after Meta was fined €390m for breaking EU data rules around ads in January.

The regulator said at the time the firm could not “force consent” by saying consumers must accept how their data is used or leave the platforms.

In response to its recent fine, the subscription tier will only be accessible to people aged over 18 at first, with the firm looking into how it can serve ads to young people in the EU without breaking the rules.

Meta claims that the new subscription is about addressing EU concerns, rather than making money.

“We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised products and services regardless of their economic status,” the firm wrote in a blog.

“The option for people to purchase a subscription for no ads balances the requirements of European regulators while giving users choice and allowing Meta to continue serving all people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Discover Meta’s Premium Membership

Regarding the new subscription option, users will be given the choice either to continue using the platforms for free and have their data collected (which is done to create targeted ads) or to pay and completely opt out of targeted ads by removing them.

However, they could end up paying more than the initial monthly fee.

If paid for on iOS or Android, the service will cost an additional €3 per month to account for the additional fees taken by these platforms.

If users want to avoid this extra charge, they can pay for the platform via the Facebook and Instagram websites, rather than the mobile apps.

Meanwhile, from March 2024, users will be required to pay an increased fee for each additional account they maintain on these platforms, including both business and personal accounts.

This development follows Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, unveiling a Premium+ service without ads, priced at £16 per month.

This remains a more affordable subscription tier that still displays ads but allows post-editing, in addition to the standard premium tier that provides users with a blue checkmark and other benefits.

TikTok has also been testing a monthly subscription to remove ads, priced at $4.99, though there is no confirmation of its global rollout at this time.