Meta released an official statement confirming the start of ad-free subscription plans for its Facebook and Instagram social media users in the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. This move was made official following previous speculations concerning the same issue.
The announcement revealed that these subscription plans are devised in line with regulations like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Digital Markets Act. These laws obligate a limitation on the amount of personal data an online platform can possess through an ad-driven free service.
Meta's State of Principles Around Ads
In the press statement, Meta clarified their belief in an ad-driven internet where people can access personalized products and services. They expressed their commitment to small businesses, helping them reach prospective customers, thus fostering economic growth. Though introducing subscription plans soon in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland, they will continue to uphold the ad-supported internet.
Starting from November, users can subscribe to this ad-free service at a fee of €9.99 per month for web users and €12.99 per month for Facebook and Instagram iOS and Android app users. All linked Facebook and Instagram accounts are included within these plans. Starting from March 1, 2024, additional accounts from a user's account center will be charged €6 monthly for web usage and €8 monthly for iOS and Android usage. These paid plans apply only to users aged 18 years and above.
Meta also addressed the issue regarding teenage users, affirming their ongoing explorations to provide a beneficial and responsible ad experience for them amid the evolving regulatory environment. Furthermore, the current ad-based free option on Facebook and Instagram will retain the same user experience.
AI Tools for Advertisers
While Meta is becoming more flexible around ads, the company is also clearly still an ad-driven organization. As such, Meta is leveraging its growing AI capabilities to provide AI tools for advertisers. Earlier this month, the company unveiled these tools that tap into generative AI.
With the primary feature, advertisers can create different backgrounds for their product images to make them more appealing. This feature is similar to Meta's Backdrop tool for consumers, which allows them to change the background of their photos. However, for advertisers, the backgrounds are mostly plain colors and patterns that match the original product images.
Another feature, called image expansion, lets advertisers adjust their assets to fit different formats, such as Feed or Reels. This feature uses AI to help advertisers save time on modifying their creative assets, such as images and videos, for different platforms.
The text variations feature in Meta Ads Manager can generate up to six alternative text versions based on the advertiser's initial copy. These versions can highlight specific words or phrases that the advertiser wants to emphasize. Advertisers can edit the AI-generated content or choose the most suitable versions for their goals. During campaigns, Meta can also show different text combinations to different audiences to see which ones get the best reactions.