Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Meta is preparing a “paywall” in Europe and plans to charge up to 13 euros per month to use Instagram and Facebook without ads

The General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union prevents companies like Meta from obtaining as much data as they would like about the millions of users they have on the old continent. In fact, the company was sentenced last May to pay a fine of 1.2 billion euros for violating European privacy regulations after transferring personal data of users from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the United States when they have it. strictly prohibited.

Hence, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg has begun to look for alternatives to be able to obtain all this data or, if not, to be able to find new sources of income. This is how he made it known The Wall Street Journal on their website, where they state that Meta proposes a “paywall” for those users who do not want the company to use their digital activity to personalize ads. In this way, all those people who do not want to offer their personal data will have to pay this fee of 14 dollars per month (about 13 euros at the exchange rate) to use Instagram without any type of advertisement.

The SNA plan

Meta’s main source of income comes from the sale of advertising in all its digital spaces. During these last few years, Marc Zuckerberg’s company has based its business on offering different companies the possibility of reaching the audience they are looking for thanks to its ability to track the activity of each of its users. However, the decision of the European Union to prevent companies like Facebook or Instagram from being able to obtain this type of data without the user’s consent has meant a big gap for the company on an economic level. Hence, Meta is looking for solutions to recover all this money.

According to the aforementioned media, the company has met in recent months with Irish privacy regulators, with digital competition regulators in Brussels and with EU privacy regulators to talk to them about a plan known as SNA ( ad-free subscription). This plan would allow users in the European Union to continue accessing Instagram and Facebook for free with personalized ads or pay for an ad-free version of the service with which they would not have to share their personal data. In this way, Meta would be “forcing” its community to give their consent to the processing of their data in exchange for being able to use the application.

Up to 13 euros per month

Although the company has always said that its applications will always be free, this new option puts one of Meta’s great promises at risk. In this meeting, Meta explained to the regulators that it plans to ask each user of its different applications for about 10 euros per month for using a Facebook or Instagram account without ads on the computer.

If the user in question wanted to associate a second account, they would have to pay an additional six euros for each service chosen. In this way, the Facebook + Instagram option without ads would cost 16 euros per month as long as we used these services on our computer. The price would rise to 13 euros on mobile devices based on the commissions charged by Apple in recent years and the Google application stores. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, a Meta spokesperson says the company continues to believe in free services supported by personalized ads. However, he acknowledges that they are open to exploring new options in order to meet “regulatory requirements.”


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