Meta wants to charge EU users a fee to access Facebook and Instagram without ads

Goal is preparing a plan to bypass European Union privacy laws: charge a monthly fee in the European Union for accessing Facebook and Instagram without advertising. If users choose not to do so, they would have to authorize the company to use their personal information to receive personalized ads. This is what they say from the Wall Street Journal.

This fee would not be exactly cheap, since this medium speaks of a subscription of 14 dollars per month to access Instagram without advertising from a smartphone, or of a package of 17 dollars per month for access to Facebook and Instagram from the computer desktop , according to several sources. Apparently, the company plans to begin rolling out these plans in the coming weeks.

Meta has until the end of November to comply with a sentence this year, established by a Luxembourg court. which rules that Facebook «cannot justify» the use of personal data to send consumers advertising based on their interests and activities unless your consent is obtained.

The court already mentions in the ruling that companies should consider the possibility of implementing a subscription model, precisely what Meta plans to do. To do this, it is discussing the issue with European regulators before the deadline for complying with the ruling, and ensuring that its approach to subscriptions is correct.

Therefore, plans to launch them have already been negotiated with EU regulators and Ireland. Those who decide to subscribe will have an ad-free version of Instagram and Facebook. Those who don’t, a free one with advertising based on your personal data.

Apparently, several Meta executives presented the plan in September to privacy regulators in Ireland, and to those in charge of monitoring digital competition in Brussels, among other officials related to privacy issues. It is unknown whether regulators in the EU and Ireland will decide that the plan complies with the region’s laws, or if they will choose to say no, and insist that Meta offer free or cheaper plans with non-personalized ads based on the user activity on networks.

One issue for regulators with this proposal, it seems, is whether the prices Meta proposes to charge will make the ad-free service too expensive for most, even if they don’t want their data used for targeted advertising. Or if they are not directly willing to pay for it. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg has stated that he would be open to a payment service to address a more exhaustive examination of privacy issues.

Users who do not want advertising will have to pay a few 10 euros per month to access without advertising on Facebook or Instagram from your computer, slightly less than double for both, and 6 euros for each additional account related to the main one. On mobile devices the price would be around, as we have mentioned, 14 dollars (13 euros) per month for each service.

This plan is undoubtedly a notable change in Meta’s strategy, since its CEO, Mark Zuckerberghas long insisted that its main services should be free and rely only on advertising so that they are accessible to people of all economic levels.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram users in other regions who want to get rid of advertising on both networks will not be able to do so, not even by paying for it. Given that in other territories the authorities have not put excessive problems (or any) to the company for the use of segmented advertising based on data and activity without user consent, Meta does not need to develop a strategy to bypass said regulations.

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