Facebook and Instagram to launch ad-free subscription in EU

The UK will miss out on the subscription due to Brexit - but it'll be rolled out to those in EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Credit: PA

Facebook and Instagram users in the EU will soon be able to pay to block adverts, Meta has announced.

The decision follows an EU court ruling earlier this year, which found Meta’s practices were not following privacy laws.

The subscription plan will be available to people in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland from November.

It will cost 9.99 euros (£8.73) per month on the web or 12.99 euros (£11.35) per month on iOS and Android, Meta said.

The service will not be offered to people in the UK, which left the EU in 2020 after the Brexit referendum.

Users will be given the choice to continue using the platforms for free, with personalised adverts, or pay to stop seeing them.

It comes as regulators have been cracking down on platforms collecting people’s individual data for advertising purposes without explicit consent.

“We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised products and services regardless of their economic status,” the company said.

“It also allows small businesses to reach potential customers, grow their business and create new markets, driving growth in the European economy.

“But we respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them.”

Meta said the new subscription model acts as a valid form of consent, as people will have to choose to continue seeing personalised ads.

The tech giant added: “The subscription for no ads will be available for people aged 18 and up, and we’re continuing to explore how to provide teens with a useful and responsible ad experience given this evolving regulatory landscape."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...