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In Europe, Facebook and Instagram introduce paid ad-free subscription services


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    October 30, 2023 10:12 AM

    Facebook and Instagram users in Europe now have the option to sign up for ad-free subscriptions as the social media company acquiesces to the European Union's regulatory demands.

    Meta announced the new subscription options on Monday. Users will be able to remove ads from their accounts for either 9.99 euros/month on the web or 12.99 euros/month on iOS and Android. The payment will apply to all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts connected to a user's "Accounts Center." While Meta has expressed support for the ad-powered economy, it said that it has to adapt to Europe and its growing regulations under the advertising-focused Digital Services Act.

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    "We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalized products and services regardless of their economic status. It also allows small businesses to reach potential customers, grow their business and create new markets, driving growth in the European economy," Meta said in a blog post. The company said, though, that it respects the "spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them."

    The new subscription option will be available in the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland starting in November.

    The company also noted that all accounts will be included under the singular monthly fee to start, but if users wish to add accounts after March 2024, then they need to pay 6 euros a month for web or 8 euros for iOS.

    The company will also stop showing advertisements to European users who are 18 or under as part of the company's adaptation to the DSA.

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    Meta previously announced its plans to offer a subscription service in August.

    The DSA's regulations ban targeted advertising aimed toward children and using sensitive data involving one's ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. It also holds tech companies accountable for "harmful and illegal" content, requires them to be more transparent about their content moderation and algorithms, and strengthens the tracing of traders on online marketplaces.

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