Europeans will be able to use Facebook and Instagram ad-free

31 Oct 2023

Image: © Askar/

Facebook and Instagram users in Europe will soon be able to pay up to €12.99 for an ad-free experience.

Meta is bringing a new ad-free subscription tier for users in most parts of Europe, including the European Union, the European Economic Area (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland.

This means that users of Facebook and Instagram will now be able to pay between €9.99 and €12.99 a month for an ad-free experience while using the Meta-owned social media platforms. The former cost is for the web while the latter, higher price is for iOS and Android users.

“As is the case for many online subscriptions, the iOS and Android pricing take into account the fees that Apple and Google charge through respective purchasing policies,” Meta wrote in a blogpost yesterday (30 October).

Meta confirmed that until 1 March 2024, the subscription – which is not available in the UK – will cover all accounts held by a user. After that, Meta will begin charging an additional €6 per month on the web and €8 per month on iOS and Android for each additional account.

“We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised 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 went on.

“And like other companies we’ll continue to advocate for an ad-supported internet, even with our new subscription offering in the EU, EEA and Switzerland. But we respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations and are committed to complying with them.”

In January, Meta was fined €390m by the Irish DPC for its targeted advertising practices in a landmark decision, including €210m for GDPR breaches relating to Facebook and €180m for Instagram breaches.

The decision related to two GDPR complaints against Meta in 2018 by an Austrian data subject and a Belgian data subject. The DPC led the investigations, as the company’s EU headquarters are based in Ireland.

The DPC said these complaints claimed Meta was forcing users to consent to the processing of their personal data by making services inaccessible unless they clicked “I accept” to show acceptance of the company’s terms of services.

The complaints alleged that this essentially “forced” users to consent to the processing of their personal data for behavioural advertising and other personalised services, which would be a breach of GDPR.

“If you choose to continue to use our products for free, your experience will stay the same – and that experience will continue to be supported by the tools and settings that we have created to empower people to control their ads experience,” Meta added in its latest announcement.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic