Facebook and Instagram are launching subscriptions in most of Europe that will remove ads from their platforms. Users can pay €9.99 per month for an ad-free experience, but it will not be available in the UK. Meta was fined €390m in January for breaking EU data rules around ads. The subscription tier will be exclusive to people in the EU, European Economic Area, and Switzerland from November. It will only be accessible for people aged over 18 at first, with the firm looking into how to serve ads to young people in the EU without breaking the rules.

Meta said its new subscription was about addressing EU concerns, rather than making money. Users will have the choice to continue using the platforms for free or opt out of targeted ads by paying and removing them. However, they could end up paying more than the initial monthly fee. The service will cost an additional €3 per month if paid for on iOS or Android, to account for the additional fees taken by these platforms. This extra charge can be avoided by paying for the platform via the Facebook and Instagram websites, rather than the mobile apps.

The announcement comes after Elon Musk’s X introduced an ad-free Premium+ service priced at £16 per month. There is also a cheaper subscription tier on X that still features ads but gives people the option to edit posts. TikTok has been testing a monthly subscription to remove ads, priced at $4.99, but there is no indication yet that this will be rolled out globally.

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