Meta has long depended on the advertising revenue from its apps to fund its other Metaverse and AI initiatives, but new EU regulations are putting some of that ad money in jeopardy.
Meta is a multi-headed behemoth of a tech company, but for all its hungry maws, it is also somewhat predictable. Give it a problem like new regulations that will force it to be far more transparent about its targeted advertising business, and it will comply—but only on its own terms. The owner of Facebook and Instagram is reportedly considering letting European Union users pay for the privilege of avoiding any and all ads, a major shift for the company that popularized social media’s business model for the past decade.
On Friday, The New York Times reported based on three anonymous sources who knew of Meta’s plans that the company would offer a subscription model for EU users. Simply put, this subscription would let users pay for an ad-free experience. Both Facebook and Instagram would still maintain a free version that includes ads. The report does not mention how much this subscription would cost or any other features that would come for payment, but the move would be a major shift for the company which has long depended on the users-as-product model. (...) Other tech companies are scrambling to comply with the EU’s ad mandates. Last week, Google said it will soon update its Ad Transparency Center to show EU users more about its targeted ad practices.