In a significant strategic move to adapt to evolving regulations and changing user preferences, Meta is reportedly considering the introduction of a monthly subscription fee for using Instagram and Facebook without advertisements. This novel plan, initially targeted at European users, could entail a monthly cost of approximately $14 (approximately Rs 1,165) to enjoy an ad-free experience on these social media platforms, as disclosed by the Wall Street Journal. At this point, there is no official information regarding its potential implementation in Asian markets like India. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that if the subscription fee gains approval in Europe for privacy-related reasons, the Indian market may follow suit in the future, though this is purely speculative for now. Here’s a closer look at the details.
Meta has shared this prospective development with privacy regulators in Ireland, digital competition authorities in Brussels, and European Union privacy regulators. This decision comes on the heels of Meta’s classification as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the EU’s recently enacted Digital Markets Act, legislation aimed at curbing the influence of tech giants. Among its various provisions, this act prohibits companies from merging users’ data across their different services while imposing additional constraints.
The European Union has been actively working towards implementing more stringent regulations for major tech corporations, with a primary focus on safeguarding the digital rights of European users and promoting competition in an industry predominantly dominated by American behemoths.
According to reports, Meta is contemplating a subscription fee of approximately 10 euros, equivalent to $10.46, per month for users who desire an ad-free experience while accessing Facebook or Instagram on desktop devices. Users with multiple accounts may incur an additional fee of around 6 euros per account. However, for mobile device users, the subscription cost may rise to approximately 13 euros per month. This increase accounts for the commissions imposed by Apple’s and Google’s app stores on in-app transactions, expenses that Meta is prepared to shoulder.
Meta has informed regulators of its intention to launch this subscription plan, tentatively named the “no ads” or SNA plan, for European users in the coming months. This initiative will empower users to choose between continuing to use Facebook and Instagram with personalized advertisements or opting for an ad-free experience by subscribing to the service. The ultimate determination of whether Meta’s SNA plan aligns with EU regulations will depend on the decisions made by regulators in Ireland and Brussels, a matter that remains uncertain, as per reports.
In response to inquiries, a spokesperson from Meta emphasized the company’s steadfast commitment to offering free services supported by personalized ads. Nevertheless, the company remains open to exploring alternative approaches that align with the continually evolving regulatory landscape.