Meta Platforms Inc's logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration picture
Meta is planning to offer paid versions of Facebook and Instagram in the EU. Reuters

Meta is reportedly prepping to offer paid versions of Facebook and Instagram with no advertisements in Europe. This strategic move is part of the tech giant's response to scrutiny from regulators.

EU-based users who opt for these premium memberships will have ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram. It is worth noting that Meta's ad-based services rely on data analytics for targeted ads.

Also, Meta is making this major strategic move because EU authorities are concerned about rules and privacy. However, Meta claims Facebook is helping build communities in Europe. "All over Europe, Facebook apps and technologies are helping people to connect and build new communities," the company says.

"These communities are transforming lives, neighbourhoods and helping people to find friendship and support," Meta noted in a blog post on its official website. Moreover, a global study last month showed there's no evidence that the growth in using Facebook caused "widespread psychological harm."

Meta is making a strategic move in the EU

Despite gearing up to introduce ad-free versions of its popular social media platform in the EU, Meta is expected to continue offering free versions of Facebook and Instagram with ads in the region. However, it is still unclear when Meta will launch the paid versions of Facebook and Instagram. Notably, the company is still mum about it.

Meta's original plan was to offer free social media while making money with ads. However, the company might change its approach by making people pay and adapt to new EU laws. Also, the American tech behemoth is reportedly planning to launch AI chatbots to retain users. There are several reasons why big tech firms are facing more rules.

EU is changing the tech world

EU's highest court banned Meta from using its user data from multiple platforms without consent back in July. Earlier this year, Meta's President, Global Affairs Nick Clegg, and Chief Legal Officer Jennifer Newstead responded to the decision to Facebook's EU-US data transfers.

"We will appeal the ruling, including the unjustified and unnecessary fine, and seek a stay of the orders through the courts." the top executive noted. Meanwhile, Irish regulators imposed a €390 million (about £333 million) fine on the company because they made users accept custom ads to use Facebook.

This is a major sign that tech experiences might differ in the EU, which encompasses 27 countries and has over 450 million people. This difference can be attributed to the region's new laws. For instance, a new rule called the Digital Services Act allows EU-based TikTok and Instagram users to restrict their data from being used for personalised purposes.

Also, Snapchat and Meta are not allowed to use special ads for 13-17-year-olds in Europe anymore.