February 20, 2023

Meta Is Exploring Charging Users To Unlock Features On Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp

Meta Is Exploring Charging Users To Unlock Features On Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp

Meta is reportedly in discussions around developing some new paid features for Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. 

Reports surfaced via The Verge after they uncovered an internal memo that indicated Meta has begun putting together a team to identify and develop said features.

Via the Verge:

The new division is Meta’s first serious foray into building paid features across its main social apps, all three of which boast billions of users. It’s being set up after Meta’s ads business was severely hurt by Apple’s ad tracking changes on iOS and a broader pullback in digital ad spending. The group, called New Monetization Experiences, will be led by Pratiti Raychoudhury, who was previously Meta’s head of research.

This is far from the first time we have seen a big player in the social media world move toward a new payment model. More notable examples include Twitter Blue launching in 2021 and more recently Snapchat launching Snapchat+.

So while we are now aware new paid features are on the way, the biggest question on everyone's mind is: what will we be paying for? 

While it is unclear if Meta will move towards a subscription-based model or have new features available for a one-time purchase, one thing is for certain: there will be no option to remove ads from your feed. The impact of the iOS14 update has reportedly cost Meta roughly $10 billion in 2022, which is a huge factor and driving force behind Meta introducing a new revenue stream.

Some of the new features that have been speculated so far include new tools for advertisers, a permanent chronological timeline, advanced control over the algorithm (priority content), improved functionality and more NFT features.

While there is discussion around whether this will further disgruntle users of these platforms after the intense backlash that Instagram has copped in recent times for introducing unwanted features, when you crunch the numbers it is most certainly worth the risk.

There are roughly 3 billion active monthly users between the three platforms. If Meta can sign on even the smallest percentage of users to their new payment model, it would supplement a giant chunk of the revenue lost through advertising due to the Apple updates.

We are still unclear on when the new features will be officially announced or launched, but we will be sure to keep you updated with any news from the Social Media Giant as it breaks.

Sam King

Sam King

Digital Marketing Manager

The Facebook Ads expert at SMC and brings 5 years of experience specialising in Social Media Marketing and Strategy. He's orchestrated major campaigns in education, sports, events, and eCommerce, seamlessly aligning digital marketing strategies across sectors for maximum impact.

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