Would you be willing to pay for Facebook? Meta may add a paid subscription option to Instagram and Facebook for users in Europe, according to The New York Times. The ad-free tier addresses European Union (EU) regulations that have diminished some of Meta’s most lucrative data-collection methods, but, the NYT says, the company would continue offering free ad-supported versions of Facebook and Instagram in the EU. So, is this a cost-saving move? Would ad-free sites affect the company’s bottom line? Back in April, Meta said that advertising in the EU made up 10 percent of the company’s total revenue.
The EU fined Meta €1.2 billion in May for moving EU citizen’s data to US-based servers. In addition, the company was fined €265 million in 2022 for failing to prevent millions of Facebook users’ mobile numbers (and other data) from being scraped and posted online.
Oh, and self-promotion time: The Morning After is heading to YouTube for a weekly show. It pits me against a camera and the week’s biggest news. I’ll run through the most intriguing stories and tech launches of the last seven days – and say what I really think about them. You can watch, like, subscribe, share and abuse me in the comments (don’t do that) right here.
All with no paid subscription option. At least not yet.
– Mat Smith
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The biggest stories you might have missed
With Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
This week, Devindra and Cherlynn are joined by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the purveyor of many Apple rumors that usually come home to roost. They discuss what we expect from the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. Based on Gurman’s reporting so far, the iPhone 15 will likely get Apple’s Dynamic Island. The iPhone 15 Pro will gain thinner bezels, a titanium frame and a periscope camera could appear on the Pro Max. Oh, and there’s the whole USB-C thing.
Another crossover universe in need of a clean.
A Back to the Future expansion is on the way to PowerWash Simulator, a self-explanatory game that turned out to be one of 2022’s biggest surprise hits. It’s the game’s latest crossover, following Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider and SpongeBob SquarePants DLC.
Alongside the DeLorean, you can also clean Doc Brown’s van, the Hill Valley clocktower, the Holomax Theatre and the Time Train, from the less-good Back To The Future 3.
Including deals on the MacBook Air, Hisense TVs and Solo Stove fire pits.
Labor Day weekend isn't known as an especially fruitful time for tech deals, but there are a few notable discounts. Both the 13- and 15-inch versions of Apple's M2 MacBook Air are down to all-time lows, for one, as are Hisense's well-reviewed U6K and U8K TVs. If you’re looking for the latest tech, the new Beats Studio Buds + are $40 off at the moment, too.