Europeans Can Now Pay For Ad-Free Facebook & Instagram
How far would you go to avoid seeing ads on Facebook / Instagram - or would you at all?
Meta just announced a “Subscription model” for Facebook / Instagram users in Europe. Users who want to avoid seeing ads can pay and subscribe to the ad-free version, while the users who don’t really mind ads can continue to use the free version.
The summary of Meta’s announcement says:
Meta will offer people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland the choice to pay a monthly subscription to use Facebook and Instagram without any ads. They can alternatively continue to use these services for free while seeing ads that are relevant to them. We believe in a free, ad-supported internet – and will continue to offer people free access to our personalized products and services regardless of income. Whether people choose to use our products for free with ads or subscribe to stop seeing ads, we are committed to keeping people’s information private and secure under our own policies as well as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Why would Meta introduce a subscription model?
The answer is right there in the summary - EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Meta has been on a collision course with the EU regarding its privacy and data protection policies (or lack thereof), and this seems to be an attempt to rectify it. Will this model be rolled out to North America? Quite possibly, yes, and it will depend, to a great extent, on the evolution of North America’s privacy and data protection laws and regulations.
Meta is not the first to introduce a subscription model. YouTube has been quite successful with its paid platform, YouTube Premium, to the extent that in 2022, YouTube Premium and YouTube Music surpassed 80 million subscribers! Music streaming services like Spotify have also been players in the "subscription" arena for quite some time.
[Editor's Note]: funny story... we work in the advertising industry, but we're humans too! Several people in our company are sick of ads and pay for YouTube Premium so they don't have to see them all the time. I force myself to watch them for educational purposes and to see when our clients' ads show up for locals. - James Shaw, Creative Director, Twin Creek Media
Should businesses and advertisers be worried?
Not yet, and not too much. Again, the response of the EU audience towards this subscription model is yet to be seen - however, most of us are used to - and expect to use social media free of charge. We are accustomed to the trade-off between privacy and having access to social networking. In addition, a significant number of users depend on social ads to discover new brands and find new events that align with their interests.
The Ad-Free Meta subscription in the EU costs;
- €9.99/month on Web
- €12.99/month on iOS or Android
In addition, beginning March 1, 2024, an additional fee of €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android will apply for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center.
This means that a single person with one Facebook and one Instagram account will have to pay approximately €16+ a month - simply to avoid ads.
With the cost of living on the rise, are you willing to pay for social media, too?
However, If the target audience you want to reach; spenders and high-net-worth individuals - opt to subscribe for an ad-free experience (and can afford to do so,) then, as an advertiser, it would be time to change your strategies.
We’ve got our eyes on how the EU community will respond to this - which will be an excellent learning curve for businesses in North America to prepare for the potential (And possibly inevitable) introduction of Meta’s Ad-Free Subscription in Canada and the USA! Stay tuned for more updates!
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