Instagram subscriptions: a new ad-free era

The era of ubiquitous advertising on Instagram will soon be coming to an end. The platform, owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), recently announced a paid subscription offer that will allow users to browse without being interrupted by ads. But what are the benefits for users and the implications for companies that invest heavily in advertising on social networks? Let's dive in.

How much does the Instagram subscription cost for users?

From November, users living in the European Union, the EEA and Switzerland will be able to subscribe to an ad-free offer on Instagram and Facebook. For €9.99 a month (or €12.99 if signing up via Android or iOS), users will be able to enjoy a smooth browsing experience, uninterrupted by adverts. This initiative could appeal to many users who are fed up with the invasive presence of adverts on their News Feeds.

Instagram subscription price without ads

Meta also explained that until March 2024, the subscription includes all the Meta accounts you have. After that, however, there will be a charge of €6 per month for the web and €8 per month for Android and iOS for each additional account.

Is subscribing to Instagram a good strategy?

X (formerly Twitter) has for some time been offering a subscription service that is more attractive than the one offered by Instagram. When a user has a subscription on Twitter, a number of features are offered to encourage them to pay. Snapchat also offers a paid subscription which gives you access to additional functions. 

Meta, on the other hand, offers no additional functionality and focuses solely on advertising. This strategy could perhaps prevent users from taking out a subscription, since it does not really offer any added value.

Implications for companies

While this ad-free subscription offer may seem attractive to users, it raises concerns for companies investing in ads on Instagram and Facebook. If a significant percentage of users opt for this offer, the reach of advertising campaigns could be considerably reduced. This could call into question the profitability of advertising investments for some companies.

Compliance with European regulations

The introduction of this subscription is not insignificant. Faced with new European regulations, notably the DSA and DMA, Meta has had to find a way of balancing the demands of regulators while offering users a choice. This subscription offer is presented as a response to these regulatory challenges.

The ad-free Instagram subscription marks a turning point in the user experience on social networks. While the benefits for users are obvious, the implications for businesses remain to be seen. Only time will tell whether this initiative will be a success or whether it will require adjustments.