Meta might launch ad-free paid versions of Facebook, Instagram soon: report

Highlights
  • The move comes as Meta continues to face scrutiny over ads and user privacy in the EU.
  • Paid versions of Facebook and Instagram could help provide another revenue model for Meta.
  • There’s no official confirmation from Meta yet.

Meta is reportedly considering offering paid versions of Facebook and Instagram to users in the European Union (EU). The paid version will be an ad-free version of both Facebook and Instagram. The move comes from ad and privacy troubles that Meta is currently facing in the EU as authorities tighten laws to protect user privacy.

Paid Instagram, Facebook

If launched, this would be a first for both Facebook and Instagram as the two apps are free to use, and don’t require any subscriptions. There are paid features but not on the overall usage of the apps. With the paid versions of Facebook and Instagram, users will get an ad-free experience, the New York Times reported. It would continue offering the regular Facebook and Instagram platforms with ads.

Meta has been in loggerheads with the EU for years now with concerns over targeted ads that appear on Facebook and Instagram. These ads are shown based on the user’s browsing history and preferences.

The EU’s Digital Services Act also kicked in last month for platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This ensures even more stringent control over ads by prohibiting such platforms to not show ads based on user’s personal information. Facebook published a blog post on this detailing how it has been working to comply with the Digital Services Act. But all of this only means extra work for Meta, and losing out on ad revenue would result in a major loss for the tech giant.

With paid versions of Facebook and Instagram, this could be another revenue model for Meta. An ad-free experience would be ideal for any user considering how ads are thrown almost everywhere on both apps. There’s no word on when and if Meta will actually launch the paid versions of these apps. Also, the subscription price isn’t known yet.

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