Facebook and Instagram will offer paid subscriptions to remove ads in Europe

The company Meta has announced that Facebook and Instagram users in Europe will be able to buy subscriptions to use the social networks without any advertising from next month.

"To comply with evolving European regulations, we are introducing a new subscription option in the EU, EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland," the tech company said in a statement.

Meta made the decision following a series of tougher European Union rules designed to rein in big tech, including the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The EU rules are a risk to Meta's lucrative ad revenue as they seek to limit the use of user data without consent.

Meta said European users can subscribe for €9.99 (£19.58) a month on the web or €12.99 (£25.46) for mobile phones using the iOS and Android operating systems .

Users will still be able to enjoy the platforms for free with ads, but the information of those paying users "will not be used for ads," Meta said.

Only persons 18 years of age and older will be able to purchase subscriptions.

Meta believes the move will allay EU regulators' concerns about data collection and how ads are targeted.

"The option for people to purchase an ad-free subscription balances the requirements of European regulators while giving consumers choice and allowing Meta to continue serving all people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland," the announcement added.

Metta also pointed to the EU's landmark Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to curb the way big tech does business online, with tougher rules on advertising.

The rules will apply from March 2024.

Tech titans like Meta also have to adhere to stricter advertising rules under another law known as the Digital Services Act, which requires tighter controls on online content.

"We respect the spirit and intent of these evolving European regulations and are committed to complying with them," the company said. /BGNES