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Meta Considers Paid, Ad-Free Facebook and Instagram in Europe

Meta is mulling over the idea of launching paid, ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram in Europe. Could this be an answer to its ongoing skirmish with EU regulators over data privacy?

Meta Eyes Paid, Ad-Free Social Media in Europe

In a move that could potentially ease its ongoing friction with EU regulators over data privacy, Meta is exploring the option of offering paid, ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram. While details such as pricing and release dates are yet to be confirmed, this could be a significant shift in the social media landscape in Europe.

Meta's spat with EU institutions has seen Ireland's Data Protection Commission slapping a $1.3 billion fine for GDPR violations related to transferring European users' data to the US. The US and EU have since signed a data transfer agreement, which has partly eased the strain.

Already, Meta has provided European users the option to opt out of targeted ads and is reportedly considering making it an opt-in system for the entire region.

The yet-to-be-released social platform Threads has been delayed in Europe due to regulatory concerns. Specifically, Meta seems to be anxious about the upcoming Digital Markets Act, which would restrict companies from reusing personal data, such as names and locations.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Meta has not issued any comments, further fueling speculation about its future plans in Europe.

Meta's consideration of launching paid, ad-free versions of its primary social media platforms could be a turning point in its complex relationship with European regulators. However, with many details still up in the air, the move is far from a done deal.