Facebook & Instagram Without Ads? Understanding The New Meta Subscription Service In Europe

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You scroll through your Instagram feed, double-tapping photos from friends and the accounts you follow without interruption. No sponsored posts popping up or stories from brands you don’t care about. Just pure, uninterrupted browsing experience.

Sounds like an ideal social media experience to you? Well, €9.99/month on the web or €12.99/month on iOS or Android will make it a reality for Meta users in the EU.

Hearing about this new update for the first time? Let us catch you up:

Meta recently announced an ad-free version of Facebook and Instagram in select European countries. For a monthly fee, users can access the social networks without the ads that have become commonplace. While the ad-supported model that built Meta into a digital advertising powerhouse isn’t going away, this new offering provides an alternative for those who prefer their feeds ad-free and uncluttered.

Learn More About This Update >

For digital marketers and businesses, the new Meta subscription service raises some questions about how people may increasingly opt to pay for an ad-free experience and what that means for advertising revenue and targeting options. But for now, at least, ads remain the driving force behind Meta’s business model. An ad-free world isn’t quite here yet.

Meta Rolls Out Paid Subscription For Ad-Free Facebook And Instagram in Europe

A hand holding a phone with a blue lock icon that symbolizes privacy.

If you’re in Europe, Meta (formerly Facebook) is prompting you to sign up for their new paid subscription service to use Facebook and Instagram without ads.

Starting in Spring 2023, the tech giant will charge €9.99 per month (or €12.99 if purchased through an app store) to remove ads from your experience across both platforms. However, if you have multiple connected profiles, it’ll cost an extra €6-8 per profile after March 1st.

Meta says they’re introducing this option in response to new EU privacy laws, presenting users with a choice between seeing personalized ads or paying a monthly fee. This shift could impact ad campaigns and budgets for businesses and marketers if many users opt to go ad-free.

In A Nutshell: The Meta Subscription Model Designed For EU Privacy Laws

Feature Cost (Direct) Cost (App Store) Additional Profile Fee (Starting March 1st)
Ad-free experience €9.99 €12.99 €6/month (Direct)
€8/month (App Store)
Age restriction 18+ 18+ 18+

Users may appreciate an ad-free experience and more control over their data. But the fees can add up quickly for households and may be too pricey for some. There’s also skepticism around whether Meta should be charging extra for privacy in the first place.

For now, the ad-free subscription is only available to those over 18 in certain EU countries. But if successful, Meta could potentially roll it out to more regions, presenting an interesting case study on the viability of social platforms moving to paid models. The coming months will reveal how users and businesses respond in Europe, with major implications for the future of social media monetization.

How The Ad-Free Option Impacts Businesses’ Marketing Strategies

A hand holding smartphone with Instagram login interface on it.

The new Meta subscription option in Europe allows users to opt out of personalized ads in exchange for a monthly fee. For businesses and marketers, this means a portion of Meta’s audience may become less targeted and reachable. However, the impact may be relatively small given the cost of these plans.

Adjust Marketing Strategies Accordingly

As some users switch to ad-free plans, businesses will need to adjust their marketing approaches on Meta’s platforms. With less data about certain users, targeted ads may become less effective. Businesses may need to take a broader approach, using more general targeting or switching to less personalized ad types like brand awareness campaigns.

Marketers will also want to monitor how many users adopt the new ad-free plans to determine how significantly it impacts their strategies. If only a small percentage opt-in, the effect on targeting and personalization may be negligible. But if large groups of users make the switch, businesses may need to make more sweeping changes to their ad campaigns and budget allocations on Meta properties.

Consider Other Platforms and Channels

For some businesses, the introduction of ad-free options may accelerate an existing trend toward diversifying marketing strategies beyond just Facebook and Instagram. While Meta’s platforms remain immensely popular, marketers have increasingly looked to other channels like TikTok, streaming services, and influencer collaborations.

Ad-free plans could provide further incentive for brands to explore alternative ways of reaching audiences rather than relying so heavily on Meta. A multi-channel approach has always been advisable but now may become even more critical for businesses seeking to maintain a personalized touch with customers in an era of greater privacy controls and paid opt-outs.

With some users choosing to avoid ads, marketers will need to get creative in order to keep their messages and products in front of the right people. A balanced, well-rounded marketing strategy across channels has perhaps never been more important. Adaptability and openness to new opportunities will help businesses thrive regardless of changes in the digital advertising space.

Should You Still Advertise On Meta?

Close up photo of smartphone that has a Facebook icon in it.

As you’ve seen, Meta is testing the waters with an ad-free subscription model for Facebook and Instagram in Europe. While the future remains uncertain, this move signals an inevitable shift in how we experience social media and how businesses can utilize it as a marketing tool.

On the one hand, paying a monthly fee for an escape from targeted ads and data tracking may appeal to privacy-conscious users. On the other hand, if subscriptions scale, they could significantly impact digital marketers and businesses relying on social media advertising.

For now, all eyes are on Europe as Meta experiments with this new frontier. Whether or not their gamble pays off, one thing is clear – the future of social media is unfolding before us.


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