In recent years, Meta has consistently rolled out numerous engaging features designed to facilitate connections, discover communities, and foster business growth. Undoubtedly, it stands out as a pivotal platform for business expansion, catering to enterprises of all sizes by promoting brand visibility, facilitating advertising efforts, and generating leads for businesses.
Meta ad-free subscription in Europe
Yes, you heard it!
In response to the evolving regulatory landscape in Europe, Meta has rolled out a fresh subscription model for an ad-free experience in various European regions, including the European Union, the European Economic Area (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), and Switzerland. Users on Facebook and Instagram now have the option to pay a monthly fee ranging from €9.99 to €12.99 for an uninterrupted experience on Meta-owned social media platforms. Those who opt for the free usage will continue to see relevant ads.
The pricing structure differentiates between €9.99/month for web users and €12.99/month for iOS and Android users. However, starting March 1, 2024, an additional charge of €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android will be applicable for each extra account listed in a user’s Account Center.
We’re all familiar with the potential annoyances posed by ads, such as intrusiveness, irrelevance, and frequency, impacting our online experience. Now, with Meta’s introduction of an ad-free option could have implications for businesses in terms of marketing and development.
The positive aspect is that advertisers can still conduct personalised advertising campaigns in Europe, reaching users who opt for the free, ad-supported online service. Looking ahead, Meta is committed to ongoing investments in developing tools that uphold the value derived by both individuals and businesses from personalised advertising, all while granting users control over their ad experience on Meta platforms.
Meta is facing EU ban on targeted advertising
Now, onto some not-so-ideal update……
On November 1, 2023, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) declared a ban on Meta using users’ personal data for targeted ads in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). This decision is a response to Meta introducing a subscription model as an ad-free option for users.
The ban follows a request from Norway’s data regulator, which had already prohibited Meta from sending targeted ads based on user data collected without clear consent. According to the EDPB, Ireland’s data regulator, responsible for overseeing Meta’s operations in Europe, must take final actions within two weeks, and the ban will be in effect a week later.
Meta has been informed of the decision and plans to seek user consent for targeted ads. The EDPB is currently reviewing Meta’s proposal for a consent-based approach. This ban could impact Meta financially, especially if advertisers reduce spending more than what is generated from users choosing the ad-free subscription.
The EDPB chairwoman emphasised that the imposition of the ban was a result of Meta failing to comply with prior directives. It is now crucial for Meta to bring its data processing in line with regulations and put an end to any unlawful practices.
Explore the latest features and updates from Meta in 2023
Even though Meta is an established player in social networks and remains a key tool for social media marketing, it’s vital for them to stay current. In today’s digital landscape, where the internet plays a central role, continuous improvement and the introduction of new technological solutions are essential for catering to both users and businesses. Regardless of challenges like the current ban in Europe or the introduction of Meta’s new ad-free subscription model, it’s crucial for both business owners and casual users to stay informed about the latest market trends and discover new opportunities.
In early July, Threads made its debut to the public and received an outstanding response from users within a short period of time. It’s a smart move for Meta to offer an alternative after Elon Musk’s not-so-well received actions to Twitter by both regular users and businesses.
Threads can be shared on Instagram and Facebook, making it a versatile platform. The goal is to increase brand awareness and create a “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) among users. This strategy aims to grow a brand’s organic following on Threads and align with the platform’s overall adoption. By cross-posting content, brands can capitalise on Threads’ popularity to boost visibility and attract more followers naturally. Besides, Threads also offers tools like trending topics, hashtags, and content recommendations, aiding advertisers in amplifying messages and increasing visibility.
Seize the excitement surrounding the new platform to establish a more personal and relatable connection with your audience. Adopt a less polished and more authentic voice, distinct from the aesthetics of platforms like Instagram.
- AI-powered features
Meta is dedicating resources to advance AI technologies, aiming to assist businesses in crafting and overseeing their advertisements with greater efficiency. Among the latest tools introduced are a background generator, image expansion feature, and text variations. Also, Meta has enriched its AI experience by incorporating AI stickers across various platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook Stories. This effort is geared towards providing businesses with enhanced capabilities for creating and managing their ads effectively.
Furthermore, Meta has introduced Meta AI, an innovative interactive assistant crafted to mimic human conversation. It features 28 unique AIs, each possessing a lively personality. Some even take on a human touch by embodying cultural icons and influencers like Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner, and Tom Brady. It’s available on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. However, the excitement doesn’t end there—more new characters are on the way! How thrilling!
- New ad formats for Reels
The expansion involves the introduction of fresh formats such as carousel and collection ads. These new options empower businesses to create more engaging and visually appealing advertisements on the Reels platform. Carousel ads typically feature multiple scrollable images or videos, whereas collection ads combine images or videos with a product grid beneath, offering users a more interactive and immersive advertising experience.
- Enhanced targeting and reporting
Meta is simplifying the process for businesses to display their ads to the correct audience. They’ve introduced fresh choices for interests, demographics, and behaviours. Meta also offers tools to gauge the effectiveness of ads, providing valuable information to help businesses enhance their results.
Alvarez and Marsal. (2023). Five Reasons why Threads should be in Your Marketing Strategy.
Bornov Engineering. (2023). Upcoming Updates on Meta in 2023.
Gain, V. (2023). Europeans will be able to use Facebook and Instagram ad-free.