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Meta may introduce a paid subscription for Instagram and Facebook - WSJ

Meta may introduce a paid subscription for Instagram and Facebook  -  WSJ Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Meta Platforms (Photo: Getty Images)

The American corporation Meta is considering the introduction of paid subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram, in which there will be no ads for users in the European Union, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It may respond to regulatory scrutiny and the changing attitudes toward technology in the United States and Europe.

The article states that those who pay for a subscription on Facebook and Instagram will not see ads in the apps. It may help Meta avoid privacy issues and other checks from EU regulators by providing users with an alternative to the company's ad services that rely on data analysis of people.

According to sources, Meta will also continue to offer free versions of Facebook and Instagram with ads in the European Union. It is currently unclear how much the paid versions of the applications will cost and when the company will be able to release them.


For nearly 20 years, Meta's primary business has focused on providing users with free social networking services and selling ads to companies looking to reach this audience.

Introducing paid subscriptions could be one of the most prominent examples today of how companies must redesign their products to comply with data privacy rules and other government policies, especially in Europe.

In July, the European Union's top court effectively banned Meta from combining data collected about users on its platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, as well as on third-party websites and apps unless the company obtains explicit consent from users.

In January, Irish regulators also fined the company €390 million for forcing users to accept personalized advertising as a condition of using Facebook.

New laws in the EU

In recent weeks, as the new EU law called the "Digital Services Act" came into effect, aimed at combating online misinformation and illegal content, TikTok and Instagram users in the region could also block using personal data for creating their social media feeds.

Snapchat and Meta have banned marketers from targeting teenagers aged 13 to 17 in Europe with personalized ads.

Another EU law focused on technology, the "Digital Markets Act," will be enacted next year. It will compel large tech platforms to change certain business practices to stimulate competition and is expected to allow Apple to allow users in the European Union to download alternatives to the App Store on iPhone and iPad for the first time.

Other issues faced by Meta

Meta, which also owns Messenger, has faced particular scrutiny from EU regulators.

In May, the bloc fined the company €1.2 billion for violating privacy laws, sending data about European citizens back to servers in the United States to improve the company's advertising technology.

Some Meta insiders believe that offering users the option to opt out of ad services while retaining access to a paid version of Facebook or Instagram may alleviate the concerns of some European regulatory authorities.