European users will still be able to use Meta's Instagram and Facebook for free but will continue to see ads.
Instagram and Facebook users in Europe now have a choice to opt out of targeted ads if they pay for a monthly subscription.
Parent company Meta (META) announced Monday that users in the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, could purchase a monthly plan to access the platforms without ads for €9.99 ($10.60) on the web or €12.99 ($13.78) on iOS and Android.
Starting in March, an additional monthly fee of €6 ($6.37) on the web and €8 ($8.48) on iOS and Android will be applied for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center, the company said.
The offerings are part of an effort to comply with multiple European regulations aimed at curbing US technology companies’ use of personalized ads. Over the last year, the EU has tightened its rules and will soon require Big Tech companies to ask users for their consent around such advertising.
In July, a court ruled that tech companies could use subscription models as a way of obtaining such consent, including asking users if they wanted to access Facebook and Instagram without advertising for a fee.
Users will still be able to use Instagram and Facebook for free but will continue to see ads. The plans do not apply to users outside of Europe.
Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, companies may collect and use the personal data of EU citizens so long as the usage falls into certain categories. Meta has previously argued that its data collection for advertising is needed for fulfilling the “contracts” between the platform and end-users to provide its service. But privacy advocates and regulators have said that justification doesn’t support the use of personal data for advertising.
“We believe in a free, ad-supported internet — and will continue to offer people free access to our personalized products and services regardless of income,” Meta wrote in a blog post.
The company also said “we respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them.”