Say what you like about Elon Musk, and folks frequently do, but the man is an inspiration. No, not like that. TikTok is considering a subscription charge for its services and now Meta is doing the same.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Meta intends to test-drive a plan that’ll let users in the European Union choose a monthly payment to get rid of ads on both Facebook and Instagram. The amount being considered for mobile users is a not-insubstantial R270, or around $14. Only, it’s in Euros, because of a little thing called the Maastricht Treaty.
Developing the Meta
The monthly payment would be entirely optional, according to the WSJ. Users can either pay R200/m (on desktop) for ad-free access to either Facebook or Instagram or they can agree to be served personalised ads. Or they can jump ship entirely but Elon Musk’s actions with Twitter/X have shown that this probably won’t be an issue for Meta.
The problem is figuring out what folks will pay. Meta is reportedly considering charging around R200/m for either ad-free Facebook or Instagram on desktops. If you’d like to add the other service too, that’ll be another R120/m. In another move inspired by Elon Musk, ad-free access to the company’s social media platforms on mobile will be even more expensive — starting at R270/m — thanks to the cut taken by either Google or Apple.
This isn’t set in stone but the new paid-for access to the popular platforms is known as ‘subscription no ads’ or SNA. It’s being pitched to regulators in Europe as a way for the company to get explicit consent to serve ads to users while offering those who would rather avoid them an out. At the same time, it might let Meta sidestep the practices that, according to Reuters, secured Mark Zuckerberg’s company a substantial fine last month.