Meta has joined Twitter in launching paid-for subscriptions services, which will cost nearly £10 a month, as part of the company’s response to falling revenues as its advertising services take a hit.
The new service, which is being launched first in Australia and New Zealand, will give users a verified badge on their Facebook and Instagram profiles and they will also receive extra features and increased security.
Users paying for verified will have to provide a form of identity by uploading a government-issued ID such as a driving license or a passport.
Subscribers will also get extra security protections with their accounts monitored to check for impersonators and their profiles will appear more prominently in comments and search results.
They will also receive access to human customer service, which has apparently been a point of concern from Facebook users for years.
Users who uses both Facebook and Instagram to help build out online businesses are likely to benefit from the verification feature.
The company said it would also offer “exclusive stickers” on Facebook and Instagram stories and Facebook reels.
Meta cut 11,000 staff in November – the equivalent of 13% of its workforce – amid falling ad revenue and economic downturn. Meta’s share price fell by more than 70% in 2022 before a rebound and in July it reported its first ever fall in revenue.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has had a customary dig at the move, responding to the news in a tweet by saying it was “inevitable” Meta would follow Twitter.
Pixlee founder Kyle Wong, who is also chief strategy officer at Emplifi, said: “While it is not unreasonable for social platforms to offer a paid service that delivers more value, the more the platform charges the more the platform will need to justify that cost.
“That’s because most brands are used to using social platforms for free and paying for advertising. Perhaps one alternative to charging for subscriptions is to provide brands badges and other perks based on their ad spend.”
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