It has been an eventful couple of weeks or so for Meta. Last week, the company’s positive earnings report was overshadowed by bipartisan lawsuits over teen safety on its social media platforms. This week, the company is again back in the news, announcing a new paid ad-free subscription option to Facebook and Instagram for users living in Europe to keep up with European regulations. While the possibility of a similar option in the U.S. is uncertain, CivicScience examined what interest Meta might find among American consumers should such an option become available.

Fresh CivicScience polling data show that the overwhelming majority (82%) of those who use Facebook or Instagram would not be interested in paying for an ad-free subscription option. Fourteen percent of users interested in this option report they would pay up to $10 a month for it. While a strong majority across all age groups are not interested, Gen Z adults are more than twice as likely to be willing to sign up. 

Take our Poll: Have you ever purchased anything from a seemingly sketchy social media ad?

Who would be most interested in a Facebook or Instagram ad-free subscription?

  • Unsurprisingly, those who would sign up are much more likely to believe it’s at least ‘somewhat difficult’ to distinguish between what is an ad and what is content on social media.
  • Forty-six percent report they have three or more video streaming service subscriptions. Those with more streaming subscriptions are also much more willing to pay a higher monthly price for a potential ad-free Facebook/Instagram subscription.
  • Nearly half (49%) say they have bought products directly from social media before, another 17% intend to make a purchase in the future.

Social media ad relevancy is not as strong a factor as one might expect

Interestingly, a plurality (44%) of those considering an ad-free subscription feel the ads they’ve seen on social media over the past year have become more relevant to them – 16 points higher than those who say they’ve become less relevant.

Neither is cybersecurity concern

And while concerns over cybercrime are rising, those with experience on Facebook and Instagram who say they avoid clicking ads due to cybersecurity concerns aren’t sold. Users who do that are close to 20 points more likely to say they would not be interested in an ads-free Facebook/Instagram subscription.

Whether or not Meta would ever consider offering ad-free subscriptions for its users in the United States remains to be seen. One thing is certain: consumers may need some convincing before jumping on board.

Join the Discussion: Do you think the government should regulate ads in social media?

If you’re interested in seeing more insights like these or want to learn how you can leverage our database of over 4 million U.S. survey responses daily, get in touch.