Ever since Facebook rebranded to Meta, the big blue social network has been quietly working away in the background to halt its decline. Instagram hasn’t been without its own problems either having recently been forced into an embarrassing U-turn about how the Instagram feed works. Well now, Meta might be able to score another own goal as reports are coming out that the company is searching for ways to make you pay to use both social networks and WhatsApp. Here is what you need to know.
Reporters at The Verge have broken a story about a leaked memo at Meta, which discusses the formation of a new team at the company, which is called “New Monetization Experiences”. It seems that the team will have the mission to seek opportunities to insert new paid experiences into both Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Interestingly, the introduction of new premium features into social networks and communication apps seems to be on trend at the moment with Telegram and Snapchat both rolling out premium subscription options for their services. There is no doubt, however, that Meta will have to tread carefully with this one as users of both Facebook and Instagram are feeling jaded at the moment and may simply jump ship.
The thing here is that there is nothing exciting enough going on at either network that would qualify as a premium experience meaning they are going to have to come up with new features and experiences if they are to start charging for them. We could see, for example, a premium experience offered to influencers on Instagram who are using the platform to earn a living. On Facebook, however, it is more difficult to identify potential premium features unless Meta decides to finally start policing the network for fake news and malicious misinformation but decides to charge users to turn on the feature. Unfortunately, the same could go for WhatsApp too!
There could be nothing in this story, but the timing of it breaking out is unfortunate for Meta. We will have to keep an eye on this story to see how it develops. In other Meta news, the company has released an impressive new AI translation model.