Mark Zuckerberg F8 2019 Keynote

Zuckerberg announces paid subscription service for Facebook and Instagram

Facebook parent company Meta, announced a subscription service called Meta Verified that will include additional perks and features, including Twitter-style account verification badges for those who pay. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new product via his Instagram account.

The new subscription will cost $11.99 per month (€11.18) or $14.99 (€13.98) if purchased through the iOS app and is aimed primarily at content creators.

In addition to a verification badge, the subscription includes “proactive account protection, access to account support and increased visibility and reach,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement reported by Bloomberg.

Subscription offerings have become popular for social media companies in recent years as a way to diversify their businesses, which rely heavily on advertising.

Meta derives almost all of its revenue from advertising, but that business can be inconsistent and severely affected by the overall economy. Meta’s business was hit hard at the beginning of the pandemic, for example, and again last year during the war in Europe and rising inflation. Subscriptions provide a more consistent revenue stream.

However, it is unclear whether users want to pay for services that have always been free.

The most valuable aspect of Meta’s subscription package looms as increased “visibility,” given that standing out on Facebook or Instagram is more difficult these days, even among a user’s own followers.

Greater visibility would mean more “prominence in some areas of the platform, such as search, comments and recommendations,” according to the company.

In addition, unlike Twitter, which does not verify a user’s identity through subscription, Meta will require users to confirm their identity with a government ID to receive a verification badge.

Meta will begin testing the subscription product first in Australia and New Zealand, starting next week.

Snapchat has an offering called Snapchat Plus, and Twitter is also pushing a subscription offering right now, with account verification being a major selling point. Twitter’s subscription offering has been slow to take off.

-Thailand News (TN)

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