Meta’s ad-free subscription is rolling out for Facebook and Instagram, but that doesn’t mean the company wants you to buy it.
Facebook and Instagram users in the European Union are starting to see a prompt to make a choice about whether or not they want to see advertising when using the apps. Now, if a user doesn’t want to deal with the deluge of ads across both platforms and wants a clean, ad-free experience, they can choose it — for a price.
The ad-free subscription, which will remove ads from both Facebook and Instagram at launch, will cost users in the EU €9.99 per month. However, the company says that it will only cover one account as of March 1, 2024. If you want to remove ads from both of your accounts after that date, you’ll be paying a total of €15.99 per month.
Despite the high price, it doesn’t seem like Meta wants anyone to sign up for the ad-free experience. As spotted by Matt Navarra, the company definitely makes choosing the ad-supported experience more prominent when going through the signup flow. The “Use for free” option is displayed in color and positioned more prominently compared to the “Subscribe” option.
This isn’t surprising. Meta’s entire business was built with an ad-supported model, and the company likely still makes more money off of users using the ad-supported experience. This same strategy is currently playing out in the streaming market, with many services increasing the price of their ad-free plans while keeping (or sometimes even decreasing) the price of their ad-supported plans.
While it seems that we’ll have the option to choose an ad-free experience across more and more products, it’s becoming clear that choice will be more of a privilege for those who can afford it. For everyone else, they’ll have to deal with the ads.