Meta is reportedly planning to charge European Union (EU) users to access an ad-free version of Instagram or Facebook — while TikTok is testing a monthly subscription service that eliminates ads.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta is preparing to charge EU users a $14 monthly subscription fee to access Instagram or Facebook without ads on their phones.
The company will also reportedly charge $17 per month for Europeans to use an ad-free Facebook and Instagram together on desktop.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Meta has told regulators that it hopes to roll out the plan — which it calls SNA, or subscription no ads — in the coming months for European users.
Meta plans to give Facebook and Instagram users in Europe the option of paying for ad-free versions of the social media platforms as a way to comply with the EU’s data privacy rules.
In July, the European Court of Justice ruled that under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Meta “cannot justify” the use of personal data to target consumers with highly personalized ads unless it gains their consent.
The ruling jeopardizes Meta’s main revenue stream and the company now has until the end of November to comply with the regulations.
“Meta believes in the value of free services which are supported by personalized ads,” a Meta spokesperson says.
“However, we continue to explore options to ensure we comply with evolving regulatory requirements. We have nothing further to share at this time.”
TikTok is Also Exploring a Monthly Subscription Fee
TikTok is also exploring a monthly subscription fee as a new revenue stream. According to a report by Android Authority on Monday, code in a new version of the TikTok app revealed that the platform is testing an ad-free monthly subscription plan, which was supposedly priced at “$4.99 per month in the U.S. during this testing phase.”
A TikTok spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing this product but only in a single, English-speaking market outside of the U.S. The spokesperson declined to identify where the test is currently running or how much it costs.
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