Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta is planning to charge $14 a month for their ad-free Instagram or Facebook. The OR looms pretty significant in that equation, meaning it will cost more for both. The rollout pricing will (supposedly) only be for “Europeans — if they don’t agree to let the company use their digital activity to target ads.”
The European Union forces companies to seek users’ permission before showing personalized ads. This new ploy is explicitly trying to navigate EU regulators’ demands to protect its user’s data. Earlier this year, Zuckerberg said that “he would be open to the idea of a paid service to cope with tougher scrutiny about privacy.” We can only hope that Mr. Zuckerberg’s “coping skills” can be enhanced and that the European Union’s regulations can be navigated with all the extra billions this gambit will rake in for Big Z and Meta.
Subscriptions are on the horizon for many social media sites.
Yesterday’s news had TikTok trying out a subscription — and earlier this year, Snapchat, X, and even Meta introduced a paid user verification program. Snapchat decided to hold people hostage if they didn’t surrender their camera rolls, so a subscription is not really that surprising. Some, like me, decided to skip “the Snap” because we don’t want our kiddos splashed all over the media for predatory exploits. We wanted a nice, safe spot for sharing with friends and family, but that seems not to be the case.
Subscriptions seem to be in the cards for all of us — but Meta is rolling out the plan, called SNA (subscription, no ads) for European users. “It will give users the choice between continuing to access Instagram and Facebook free with personalized ads, or paying for versions of the services without any ads, people familiar with the proposal said.” The plan has now been shared from Meta to all EU regulatory commissions, asking for their input.
We could likely place a bet on how long Zuckerberg will be able to cope without casting a greedy eye on the U.S. Meta market.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Julio Lopez; Pexels; Thank you!
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