From the beginning, Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg have opposed offering any paid and ad-free subscriptions to services like Facebook and Instagram. Instead, they have always believed in free but advertising is the only way. Now, Meta – the company that looks after Instagram and Facebook – is coming up with an option that will let Instagram and Facebook users subscribe to the two services. Sadly, this move comes after pressure from the EU and hence this option will only be available to European users.
In other words, users in India will continue to see and be shown ads on their Instagram feed, whether they want to or not. However, if the paid subscription plans prove popular in the EU and if Meta sees value in them, it’s possible that similar paid Instagram subscription plans could come to India.
Currently, if you’re in Europe – and in the region covered by the European Union – you’ll be able to subscribe to Instagram and Facebook and enjoy an ad-free experience. Meta says subscription will cost 9.99 euros on the web via web browser and 12.99 euros on the iOS or Android app.
“To comply with evolving European regulations, we are introducing a new subscription option in the EU, EEA and Switzerland,” Meta said in a statement. “In November, we will be offering people who use Facebook or Instagram and reside in these regions the choice to continue using these personalized services for free with ads, or subscribe to stop seeing ads. While people are subscribed, their information will not be used for ads.”
Although the subscription seems quite high – if you look at the figures in Indian Rupees it would be Rs 880-1150 – considering that it will let users enjoy Instagram and Facebook in an ad-free timeline, it seems attractive. Equally important is Meta’s promise that people who subscribe to paid plans will not see their personal information used for targeted advertising.
In the past, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have repeatedly stressed that they believe advertising is free but it is the best way forward for users as well as the company. A little more than four years ago, Zuckerberg said in an interview that users wanted a free service.
“I personally don’t believe that many people would want to pay to not have ads,” Zuckerberg said in an interview. “Offering it as an option may still be the right thing to do going forward, but all the data I’ve seen shows that the vast, vast, vast majority of people want free service and advertising in many places.” “In terms of the quality of what people are able to see in words, they’re no different than biological things.”