In a proposal made to EU regulators, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, wants to charge $14 to European users who disagree with the company using their digital activity to target ads over Facebook and Instagram. This has been exclusively reported by The Wall Street Journal.
According to the publication, “the proposal is a gambit by Meta to navigate European Union rules that threaten to restrict its ability to show user personalized ads without first seeking user consent.” Specifically, Meta has been in talks with privacy regulators in Ireland and digital-competition regulators in Brussels, although it has shared with other EU privacy regulators as well.
Meta wants to roll out its SNA (subscription no ads) plan in the coming months for European users. That way, those who agree with Facebook’s personalized ads would continue to use the platform for free, while those who want to protect their data would have to pay for not seeing ads on social media.
According to the plan, Meta would charge around €10 a month on the desktop on a Facebook or Instagram account and roughly €6 for each additional linked account. The price would go up to €13 a month on mobile devices because Meta would factor in commissions charged by Apple and Google stores.
While Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has always advocated that the services should remain free and supported by advertising, this is how the company found it could navigate demands by EU regulators without losing the market in the region.
WSJ notes that the option to pay for ad-free Instagram and Facebook in the US is not planned, as this is a pitch specifically for the European Union due to the region trying to protect its citizens’ data. The publication says it’s unclear if regulators in Ireland or Brussels will accept this plan or if they insist Meta offers cheaper or even free versions with ads that aren’t personalized based on user’s digital activity.
BGR will keep an eye on a possible ad-free Instagram/Facebook coming to the EU in the coming months.