Having barely launched, the paid offer to use Facebook and Instagram is already under threat. As a reminder, this was launched this November and is positioned as a new option for European users who wish to use these two social networks, but without seeing advertisements and without using their data to target these ads.
The Meta group has not changed its economic model and still intends to focus on a free offer financed by advertising. However, it indicates that it launched its ad-free subscription in Europe in order to adapt to changes in regulations on the continent. The subscription costs 9.99 euros per month on the web or 12.99 euros per month on iOS and Android, due to App Store and Play Store commissions. And from March 2024, you will have to pay an additional 6 euros per month on the web and 8 euros on mobile, for linked accounts.
But Meta is already attacked by an NGO, because of this new offer. In a blog post, Nyob announces that he has filed a complaint with the Austrian regulator. This denounces the system put in place by the group, which asks the user to pay or accept advertising tracking.
Nyob questions the system proposed by Meta
< p>“Under EU law, consent to online tracking and personalized advertising is only valid if it is “freely given”. This is to ensure that users only give up their fundamental right to privacy if they genuinely want to do so. Meta has now implemented the exact opposite of truly free choice: Facebook alone will introduce “privacy fees” which can go up to €12.99 per month if users do not consent to their personal data being processed for targeted advertising purposes”, explains the NGO.
< p>This also denounces Meta's prices. Nyob estimates that a person using Facebook and Instagram without ads will have to pay a total of 251 euros per year. However, according to this, the average income per user of the group, in Europe, is 62.88 euros. Furthermore, the NGO also fears that Meta's decision will cause a domino effect in the European Union. Indeed, other applications could draw inspiration from Mark Zuckerberg's company.
Fear of a domino effect
For example, rumors suggest that TikTok is testing a similar offering. Furthermore, Nyob asks the Austrian regulator to launch an emergency procedure which would put an end to this new practice. The NGO also calls for the establishment of a dissuasive fine to discourage other platforms.
Questioned by The Register, a representative of Meta referred to a paragraph that the group had published in a blog post :“The ability for people to purchase an ad-free subscription balances the requirements of European regulators while giving users choice and allowing Meta to continue to serve all people in the EU, ;EEA and Switzerland. In its judgment, the CJEU expressly recognized that a subscription model, such as the one we are announcing, constitutes a valid form of consent for a service financed by advertising.”
As for prices, the Meta representative indicated that those it offers align with the prices of subscriptions such as YouTube Premium or Spotify Premium.
- This November, Meta launched a paid, ad-free subscription for Facebook and Instagram in order to adapt to the regulatory requirements of the European Union
- The NGO Nyob files a complaint with an EU regulator, believing that the choice is not free and that the prices are too high
- But Meta relies on a decision of the Court of Justice of the ;European Union and considers that its prices are not particularly high compared to the Premium offers of YouTube and Spotify
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