Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Facebook in Europe: pay per month OR accept personalized ads

Since 8 November 2023, I have a choice: either pay 12,99 euro per month for Facebook, or “accept” their “free” version with personalized ads (eg, AD, Standaard). This is causing a dilemma as I do not trust Facebook’s data collection. Hence, I refused using their app and only used their website.

Moreover, I mostly used Facebook (and LinkedIn) to promote my blog. Sometimes, I communicated with acquaintances on Facebook. Friends would call me, mail me, or text me. Most Facebook posts are irrelevant to me. Mid July, my son deleted his Facebook account. I’m proud of him.

Why haven’t I deleted my Facebook account?? I’m not sure. I doubt it relates to a social media addiction. I minimize my presence on social media. Only when I’m bored, I take a brief look at my social media (ie, Facebook, LinkedIn). I minimize my time spent. Hence, they don’t earn a lot from those ads.

I suppose Facebook became a habit since about 2010. Kicking out habits is hard (eg, NIH-2012). For the moment, I cannot even access Facebook because I must make a choice first, which I refuse.

Facebook’s choice is hardly realistic because nobody will accept their monthly payments. It’s a simple risk-reward consideration. I suppose their “choice” reflects the backlash of a confrontation between American Big Tech and regulatory agencies in Europe. No doubt, the EU will – eventually – win.

In my view, Facebook should have offered to reimburse their users for their privacy loss following data collection by social media. Such an offer would have tested the regulatory agencies in various territories. Paying monthly fees for the absence of data collection feels ridiculous.

Moreover, the new monthly Facebook fees are even (much) higher than their average revenue per user (or: ARPU). “In 2022, Meta’s average revenue per user was 39.63 U.S. dollars, representing a 3 percent decrease compared to the previous year.” (Statista-2023). Please see this diagram for 2011-2022:

source: Average revenue per user (ARPU) of Meta Platforms from 2011 to 2022 (in U.S. dollars)

“Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.” 

A quote by Pete Cashmore (b.1985), the founder and former CEO of the media and entertainment company Mashable

Old Habits (1980) by Hank Williams Jr.
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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