Meta allegedly considering ad-free, paid version of its EU apps

    Sick of ads on Instagram and Facebook? Meta might do away with them — if you pay.

    According to a Friday report from the New York Times, Meta is considering paid versions of its social media platforms in the European Union that would be free of ads. There is no immediate timeline for the plan and it’s unclear how much the paid version of Facebook and Instagram would cost.

    The alleged plan is confidential and all of the Times‘ sources spoke on the condition of anonymity. Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mashable and declined to comment to the Times. But it’s not entirely surprising that Meta would consider this move. After all, enabling an ad-free experience on its apps could allow the company to skirt privacy concerns and other uneasiness from EU regulators.

    This comes in the midst of a years-long battle between EU regulators and Meta due to the company’s pernicious data collection. The EU adopted one of the most valuable pieces of legislation to protect people’s online privacy and data — the Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR — in 2016. And, since then, it used the GDPR to strengthen online privacy and data protections for EU users.

    For instance, in May, Meta was fined 1.2 billion euros for breaching the GDPR when Facebook transferred user data from Europe to the U.S. In July, the EU banned Meta from combining user data across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And in August, the European Union’s Digital Services Act forced Meta to allow Instagram and Facebook users in Europe to view content chronologically, find search results based “only on the words they enter” instead of algorithm-based results, and to view Stories and Reels from only accounts that they follow.

    While it’s unclear when — or if — Meta will actually announce the ability for users to pay for an ad-free experience, I would totally pay to get ads off of my social media platforms if given the option. Not only because of the very real data and privacy concerns, but also because Meta simply will not stop feeding me ads for Temu, a company that sells ultra-cheap stuff I do not want and will never buy yet consistently piques my interest. I would pay immense amounts of money to never see it on my Instagram feed again.

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