Have you heard this phrase before? “If you’re not paying for a product, then you are the product.”

On social media platforms, we engage by liking, commenting, and sharing our opinions on various topics. However, what do the creators of these platforms gain in return? Data! The information we share on these platforms is stored, and advertising companies leverage it to target their desired audience.

Have you ever searched for something on a search engine and later found it as an ad on one of your social media platforms? Specific ads seem to be everywhere, utilizing consumer data to tailor their content.

Personalized advertising collects data about the users and customizes the ads based on that data. The data includes the customers’ demographics, interests, and online behaviors through cookies and other tracking technologies.

While this has been the case, many believe that the tide is turning in favor of privacy-minded consumers who are wary of personalized advertising. CNN reported that over the last year, Europe has tightened its rules and regulations, potentially requiring big technology companies to ask users for their permission for personalized ads.

Moreover, a court in July ruled that tech companies could use subscription models as a way of obtaining consent. The subscription models would offer users the option to access Facebook and Instagram without ads for a fee.

Interestingly, Meta shared that they will offer people in the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, the choice to pay a monthly subscription to use Facebook and Instagram without any ads. The company stated that it believes in a “free, ad-supported internet” and will continue to offer free access to its products and services.

Meta’s subscription plan’s main goal is to comply with European regulations. The plan, which is set to go into effect in November, will offer people who use Facebook or Instagram the choice to continue using them for free with ads or subscribe to stop seeing ads. Meta said that the information of the people who subscribe to the monthly plans will not be used for advertising.

Online survey app Real Research shared a survey on Meta launching subscription plans, and here are the results.


  • Meta’s subscription plan prices were seen as unreasonable by 77.17%
  • 98% favor paying for ad-free access to tackle targeted ad concerns in Europe.
  • 8% didn’t think about subscribing to remove ads on Instagram and Facebook.

Meta Launches Ad-Free Subscription Plans:

Meta announced that users in Europe could purchase ad-free plans for Instagram and Facebook to comply with European regulations, which aim at restricting U.S. technology companies’ use of personalized ads. 40.28% were vaguely aware of the announcement, 39.55% were fully aware, and 20.17% claimed that they didn’t know.

The pricing of Meta’s subscription plans for ad-free access in Europe changes depending on the device. Interestingly, users will be offered a monthly plan to access the platform without ads for €9.99 ($10.60) on the web or €12.99 ($13.78) on iOS and Android. This pricing was seen as very unreasonable by 46.22% and somewhat unreasonable by 30.95%. The opposing opinions claimed that the pricing is somewhat reasonable (14.02%) and very reasonable (8.82%).

Figure 1: Reasonability of Meta’s subscription plans pricing for ad-free access in Europe

Meta Asking Users to Pay in Effort to Comply With EU Regulations

Meta’s subscription plan is part of an effort to comply with European regulations, according to Meta. However, the majority (39.85%) weren’t sure that Meta’s subscription plans addressed concerns about privacy and data protection. On the other hand, 34.65% thought the subscription plans did address the mentioned concerns, and 25.5% stated the opposite.

Figure 2: Perceptions on how the subscription plans address privacy and data protection concerns

Furthermore, according to 40.98%, the option to pay for ad-free access is a good solution to address concerns about targeted ads in Europe. 32.07% weren’t confident about the option, and 26.95% stated that it was not a good solution.

How About the Other Technology Companies?

Meta’s introduction of subscription plans will somewhat set a precedent for other technology companies to adopt similar models, according to 38.55%. 33.47% claimed that it was somewhat unlikely. 17.12% thought it was very likely, and 10.87% thought it was very likely for other companies to adopt similar models.

Figure 3: The possibility that Meta’s introduction of subscription plans sets a precedent for other tech companies

While the move was driven by European regulations, its appeal might not be so strong. 66.8% claimed they didn’t consider purchasing a subscription to access an ad-free Instagram and Facebook. In detail, 44.33 probably wouldn’t, 28.2% probably would, 22.47% claimed they definitely wouldn’t, and only 5% stated that they would.

More Fees?

What seemed to be a sudden move from Meta is announcing additional monthly fees for people with multiple accounts. Meta stated that a monthly fee of €6 ($6.37) on the web and €8 ($8.48) on iOS and Android will be applied for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center. The statement is somewhat unfair according to 43.3%, very unfair according to 36.6%, 14.37% claimed it as somewhat fair, and 5.73% stated that it was very fair.


Survey TitleSurvey on Meta Launching Subscription Plans
DurationNov 8, 2023 – Nov 15, 2023
Number of Participants6,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.