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High Costs of Meta’s Ad-Free Service on Facebook & Instagram

Commencing in November, Meta intends to introduce a novel subscription service in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland, affording Facebook and Instagram users the option to eradicate ads.

At launch, pricing diverges based on the platform of choice. Desktop users will incur a €9.99 monthly fee, while mobile users will pay a slightly higher €12.99 monthly, which accommodates fees levied by Apple and Google.

Assuring users of data privacy, Meta vows not to exploit subscribed account information for targeted advertising. The sole prerequisite is that users must attain 18 years of age.

Initially, a subscription encompasses all linked profiles in the Account Center until March 1, 2024. Beyond this date, Meta will institute additional charges per account, amounting to a €6 increase for desktop plans and an €8 increase for mobile plans. This translates to an approximate annual expense of €240 for an ad-free experience on a single profile.

High Costs of Meta's Ad-Free Service

Astronomical Costs

The exorbitant pricing raises substantial concerns. Consider this scenario: you possess Facebook and Instagram accounts and desire an ad-free experience on both desktop and mobile.

To our understanding, you’d require four separate subscriptions to cover both devices. Post-March 1, each subscription costs about €20. So, annually, European users may face spending nearly €1,000 to eliminate ads from desktop and mobile, assuming they have only one of each.

Keep in mind, that these figures are rounded up but closely align with actual prices. We’ve sought clarification from Meta regarding pricing, given the announcement’s ambiguity. We’ve also inquired about extending the service to other countries, such as the US and UK.

Compliance Mandate

Meta asserts that the service’s launch aligns with “evolving European regulations.” In recent years, EU authorities have intensely scrutinized Meta’s data handling practices. The Union even imposed a $1.3 billion fine while passing the Digital Services Act to prohibit certain manipulative advertising practices.

Government regulators have mandated that Meta offer users an opt-out from incessant online ads. Meta cites the CJEU’s recognition of the subscription model as a “valid form of consent,” a commendable initiative to provide users with a permanent ad-free option.

Budgetary Burden

Regrettably, this move burdens users financially, making the process painful for their wallets.

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