In response to newly introduced privacy regulations in Europe, Meta Platforms Inc. META has launched a paid, ad-free version of Facebook and Instagram in the region.

What Happened: As reported by The Verge, Meta is actively encouraging its users to opt for the “no ads” subscription, positioning the decision to use its services with targeted ads as a choice for the user. 

The subscription is priced at approximately $20 per month, offering an alternative to the targeted ad experience on Facebook and Instagram.

The Mark Zuckerberg-led company has indicated that users of both platforms will eventually be required to pay an additional fee to maintain ad-free profiles on both platforms, as per a new prompt appearing on users’ accounts.

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The ad-free version costs €9.99 monthly on the web and €12.99 per month if purchased through Google’s or Apple’s app store. This fee currently covers all linked accounts. 

However, starting March 1, subscribers will need to pay an extra fee for any additional linked profiles — €6 per month if bought directly or €8 if purchased through an app store. 

The ad-free service is only accessible to users who are at least 18 years old.

Meta is introducing this option due to changing laws in the region, as stated in the company prompt. Users in countries with available access to this feature will need to choose between subscribing or using the products for free. 

The free version will continue displaying personalized ads, with user information used for ad targeting.

Why It Matters: This move comes after rumors of ad integration in WhatsApp, another Meta-owned platform. 

In September earlier this month, WhatsApp’s chief, Will Cathcart, refuted a report suggesting that the company was considering adding ads to the chat platform’s conversation list. 

He clarified that the report was false and that there were no plans or ongoing efforts to integrate ads into WhatsApp.

Despite these rumors, Meta has primarily monetized WhatsApp through its business platform, which has a robust user base of 200 million monthly users.

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