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Facebook and Instagram have an ad-free subscription, but some countries see it as blackmail | UPDATE

With the European regulatory scenario constantly evolving, significant news awaits Facebook and Instagram users residing in the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Starting from November, you will be able to choose between continuing to use these services for free with advertising, or opting for a monthly subscription for Facebook and Instagram which will allow you to browse without advertising interruptions. Here are the details.


How much does a Facebook and Instagram subscription cost

The subscription will be available at a cost of €9,99 per month if purchased via the web, Or of €12,99 per month when purchased via apps on iOS or Android. This price difference is attributable to fees imposed by Apple and Google through their respective purchasing policies.

Once activated, the subscription will cover all Facebook and Instagram accounts linked in the user's Account Center, until March 1, 2024. After that date, for each additional account registered in the Account Center, a will be applied additional rate of €6 per month via web and €8 per month on iOS and Android.

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Why a subscription?

The philosophy behind this innovation lies in the belief in maintaining an advertising-supported internet, which allows access to personalized products and services regardless of the user's economic status. This model also favors growth of small businesses, contributing to the expansion of the European economy. However, in compliance with constantly evolving European regulations, this new subscription offer represents a balanced compromise.

La decision to introduce a subscription option follows the announcement made in August, when the intent to comply with the principle of “Consent” of the GDPR for the processing of data collected on the platforms, in response to the interpretations of the GDPR by the Irish Data Protection Commission and anticipating the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The Court of Justice of the European Union has explicitly recognized that a subscription model such as the one proposed represents a valid form of consent for an advertising-funded service.

What happens to those who don't buy the subscription

For those who choose to continue using the services for free, the experience will remain unchanged, with the possibility of customizing advertising exposure via Ads Preferences. At the same time, advertisers will continue to be able to run personalized advertising campaigns in Europe as they are developed new features to preserve the value of personalized advertising, allowing greater control of the advertising experience on the platform.


Meta's recent introduction of a paid subscription model, which allows users to avoid personalized advertising, is sparking controversy in Europe. Although this initiative was aimed at complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU, the data protection authorities of Norway ed Estonia raise doubts on its legitimacy, perceiving it as a possible "blackmail".

In Norway, Datatilsynet investigates the conformity of this solution to the GDPR, focusing on Meta's justification for collecting personal data. This aspect is crucial, as the GDPR establishes clear conditions for the legitimacy of data collection.

Meta's actions, initially based on a contractual interpretation of data collection, have met opposition from privacy activists, leading to a decision of Data Protection Board of Ireland and subsequent revisions by European Data Protection Council (EDPB) and the Court of Justice of the EU.

However, this solution has been criticized as a method of forcing users to pay for privacy, rather than as a way to make up for past irregular data collection practices.

Estonia also expressed similar concerns, suggesting that Meta's current model does not constitute valid consent under the GDPR and that the cost of subscription is prohibitive, allowing Meta to continue processing personal data for personalized advertising.

Gianluca Cobucci
Gianluca Cobucci

Passionate about code, languages ​​and languages, man-machine interfaces. All that is technological evolution is of interest to me. I try to divulge my passion with the utmost clarity, relying on reliable sources and not "on the first pass".


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