Meta faces billions in fines for breaching EU data protection laws. One of its main problems, criticized by privacy regulators, is its business model, which is based on ad tracking: if they want to use Facebook or Instagram, users must agree to Meta collecting their data, analyzing it, creating their Profile as users and show them personalized. Advertisements. There is no alternative: if a person does not want to consent to being tracked, they cannot use your apps.
Meta has been working for months on a solution: a paid version of its services that it will launch only in Europe, allowing users on the old continent to watch for a monthly subscription. As published this Tuesday The Wall Street JournalThe social media corporation has already decided to launch these paid versions, submitted them to regulators and knows how much they will cost.
Under the plan, which it has submitted to Brussels and Ireland (the country responsible for overseeing its privacy practices, as its European headquarters are in Dublin), Meta will charge users €10 a month for a subscription when on Facebook or Instagram. Used on PCs, desktops and mobile phones, the price will increase to €13 as Meta passes on to consumers the 30% commission that Apple and Google pay on each payment made in their app stores.
In both cases, the price is only on one of the two social network accounts. Each additional account involves an additional payment of 6 euros, according to documents obtained by the US media.
In a statement sent to elDiario.es, Meta did not deny the information magazine. “Meta believes in the value of free services supported by personalized ads. However, we continue to explore options to ensure we meet evolving regulatory requirements. “We have nothing further to share at this stage,” the spokesperson said. The Irish Data Protection Authority did not respond to this request.
If the product is free, the product is you
The paid versions of Facebook and Instagram represent the first change to the multinational business model since its inception 20 years ago. A model based on personalized advertising that was a perfect representative of the motto “If the product is free, the product is you” that marks Internet 2.0. A model that proved incompatible with advancing European privacy regulations, as Meta itself was forced to admit after the sanctions.
The last of the fines, $1.2 billion and imposed last May, was one of the turning points. Earlier, Meta even offered its shareholders the option to leave Europe if it was forced to comply with EU data protection laws, prompting a strong political backlash on the continent: “We would live very well without Facebook,” France’s finance minister said.
Ultimately, Meta will not leave Europe, but will change its business model to offer an alternative to users who do not want to be tracked for advertising purposes. The European division of the corporation is the one that generates the most revenue behind the US, with more than 30,000 million euros in 2022.
According to sources in the negotiations, regulators have expressed doubts about Meta’s subscriber pricing. They believe that the breadth of its services should force the corporation to offer a subscription that will fit all budgets. According to their data, Meta earns just over €17 per month for each European Facebook user. However, this figure could be higher if only EU users are taken into account, as its European division Meta includes countries such as Turkey and Russia, where revenue per account is low.
Source: El Diario