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(Pocket-lint) - Meta is looking at its competitors, like Twitter, and taking note of how they are charging subscribers. Because it might do the same.

The Verge saw an internal memo recently sent to Meta employees and is now reporting that Meta has set up a "product organisation" to identify and build "possible paid features" for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

In an interview, Meta VP of Monetization John Hegeman said his company has no plans to let people pay to turn off adverts in its apps. Instead, he said, "I think we do see opportunities to build new types of products, features, and experiences that people would be willing to pay for and be excited to pay for". The executive did not specifically announce any paid features that might be in the works. 


Meta's revenue is almost exclusively from ads, so adding paid features seems obvious and a logical way for Meta to diversify. The Verge's report described Meta's ads business as being "severely hurt" by Apple's ad tracking changes. That, coupled with an industry-wide lull in digital ad spending, is prompting Meta to create the New Monetization Experiences, which will be led by Pratiti Raychoudhury, who was Meta's head of research.

"I think if there are opportunities to both create new value and meaningful revenue lines and also provide some diversification, that’s obviously going to be something that will be appealing", Hegeman said. "On a 5-year time horizon, I do think it can really move the needle and make a pretty significant difference".

Keep in mind Meta has already experimented with paid features, by allowing Facebook group administrators to charge for access to content. Even Instagram recently announced creators can charge subscriptions for access.

Meta, of course, is only one of many social media apps currently exploring different monetization opportunities in the form of paid features.

Twitter has paid Super Follow, for instance.

"We’re obviously paying attention to what’s going on in the industry", Hegeman said. "I think there are multiple companies that have done interesting things in this space that I think hopefully we can learn from and emulate".

Meta has promised creators that it won't take a cut of transactions from paid features and subscriptions until 2024. 

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.
  • Source: Meta is planning more paid features for Facebook and Instagram - theverge.com