A paid version of Instagram and Facebook may soon be coming to Czechia

Tech giant Meta has unveiled plans to introduce a totally ad-free experience of these platforms for a price. However, the free versions will remain.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 04.10.2023 13:30:00 (updated on 04.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Technology company Meta has announced that it is planning to offer paid versions of its social networks – Facebook and Instagram – in Europe. A paid membership would allow users in Czechia to access the desktop version of Facebook entirely without ads. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) claims that it would cost people around CZK 245, or EUR 10, monthly.

According to the WSJ, Meta has already informed European regulatory authorities of its plans. On top of the CZK 245 monthly payment, a user would have to pay another EUR 6 for an extra linked account.

More money for a mobile subscription

On mobile devices, the subscription would be higher, as Meta would take into account the fees charged by Google or Apple app stores. This would cost around EUR 13.

It is not yet clear whether there will also be a subscription that combines both desktop computers and mobile devices. It is also uncertain as to whether the mentioned prices really only apply to Facebook, or whether users will also get ad-free access to Instagram after paying such sums. A concrete timeline has also not been announced.

Practically since the very creation of Facebook, the business model of this social network has not changed in any way. Like Instagram, it is offered completely free for users, with Meta earning its revenue via heavy advertising.

Meta emphasized unequivocally that the free versions of Facebook and Instagram will remain.

Would you pay to use Facebook or Instagram?

I would pay for both 2 %
Just Instagram 1 %
Just Facebook 0 %
I would not pay 97 %
191 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

Is it about data protection?

The tech firm claims that its main intention is not to extort extra money from users, but to comply with EU regulatory policy.

Regulators have recently been focusing more and more on large internet platforms and how they collect users' personal data to better target advertising posts.

Offering paid, ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram could help the U.S. tech giant allay European regulators' privacy concerns. In practice, it would provide users with an alternative to advertising services that use personal data analysis.

In July this year, the EU's Supreme Court banned Meta from combining data collected about users across its platforms and from other websites and apps unless it gets their express consent.

The Irish Data Protection Authority (DPC) fined the company EUR 390 million in January for forcing users to accept targeted advertising as a condition for using Facebook.

According to the newspaper, Europe is the second most profitable region for Meta after North America. The company's financial director Susan Li said in April that advertising in the EU makes up about ten percent of the company's total business activities.

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