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Meta Will Offer Ads Free Instagram and Facebook to EU Users

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Meta Platforms, the US internet company behind Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly exploring the introduction of paid versions of its social networking sites in Europe that would be free from advertising. This development comes as a response to the European Union’s stringent regulatory policies that restrict Meta’s data collection practices, according to insider sources cited by The New York Times.

The potential offering of ad-free paid versions of Facebook and Instagram is seen as a strategic move by Meta to address privacy concerns raised by European regulators. By providing users with an alternative to the ad-supported services that rely on personal data analytics, the company hopes to gain favor in the European market.

While specific details such as the pricing and launch date of these paid versions remain uncertain, Meta is expected to continue offering free ad-supported versions of its platforms in the EU alongside the new paid options. A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment on these developments when contacted by The New York Times.

For nearly two decades, Meta’s primary business model has revolved around providing free social networking services and monetizing them through advertising. The potential introduction of paid services represents a significant shift in response to privacy regulations, particularly in the European context.

In July, the highest court in the European Union effectively prohibited Meta from aggregating user data across its platforms and other websites and apps without explicit user consent. Earlier in the year, Ireland’s Data Protection Authority (DPC) imposed a €390 million (approximately CZK 9.4 billion) fine on Meta for requiring users to accept targeted advertising as a condition for accessing Facebook.

Europe stands as the second most profitable region for Meta, following North America. According to reports, approximately 10 percent of the company’s total revenue is derived from advertising within the European Union.

Notably, Meta has refrained from launching its Threads network in the EU due to the prevailing uncertainty surrounding privacy regulations. The Threads network is Meta’s attempt to compete with the X network (formerly Twitter), led by US billionaire Elon Musk.


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