Isn’t it strange when an ad pops up on Facebook, moments after discussing a brand in real life with a friend?

Well, things could be be the changing in the coming months, as users might have the possibility of accessing advert-free social media platforms.

But it comes with a price.

According to The Guardian, Meta platforms could be introducing a new fee of €13 a month for an ad-free user experience on Instagram or Facebook when accessed through the phone. Additionally, it is considering a €17 fee for an ad-free experience of the social media platforms on desktop. Meta is also considering charging €19 a month when a user has access to both apps on smartphones. Facebook and Instagram will still be free to its users if they wish to encounter ads.

Despite nothing being put on paper yet, Meta is considering taking these drastic measures as a reaction to a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling against the media giant.

In its ruling the court cited Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and remarked that Facebook cannot use personal details of its users to target them with personalised ads without consent. This is Meta’s primary method of generating revenue from running the platform. After the ruling, Meta proposed “appropriate fees” as an alternative.

Meta is currently discussing the way forward with Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which regulates social media across the EU. The plan is called ‘Subscription no ads’ (SNA) and could be introduced next month since Meta has only till the end of November to comply to the ECJ ruling.

Max Schrems, a campaigner against Meta’s data practices argued that fundamental rights cannot be for sale and if this subscription scheme is implemented, “only the rich can enjoy these rights, at a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet. Introducing this idea in the area of you right to date protection is a major shift.”


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