Ad-Free Subscription Option in the EU?

An ad-free Facebook and Instagram? According to the New York Times, Meta is thinking about it.

Meta is considering paid versions of Facebook and Instagram for users in the European Union that would be ad-free. Both apps would continue to offer free versions in those countries with ads.

The European Union has some of the strictest privacy laws. The expectation is that ads for users who opt-out in the EU will be untargeted and likely far less effective. This would lead to advertisers spending less money there and Meta losing revenue.

There’s also the thought that offering this option could appease regulators in the EU and maybe they’d loosen restrictions.

From an advertising perspective, watch this closely. If Meta rolls an ad-free subscription option to the EU, it will likely come to the rest of the world eventually.

This would would likely hurt advertisers. Those who pay for a subscription are some of the most desirable potential ecomm customers. Removing them from the targeting pool could negatively impact advertising results.

Meta may have no choice if targeting gets blown up in the EU, of course. Whatever happens here will have a long-term impact on advertising.

What do you think?