To explore and develop “potential paid features” for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, Meta is establishing a product organization.
With three major social media applications that collectively have billions of users, the new business represents Meta’s first sincere attempt to integrate paid services across these networks. The reason for its creation is that Apple’s adjustments to iOS ad monitoring and a general decline in digital advertising expenditure significantly impacted Meta’s advertisements business. Pratiti Raychoudhury, who was formerly the chief of research at Meta, will serve as the group’s leader. The group’s name is New Monetization Experiences.
John Hegeman, the group’s vice president of monetization at Meta, stated that the firm has no intentions to charge users to disable advertisements in its applications and that it remains dedicated to expanding its ad business in an interview with The Verge. He stated, “I believe we certainly see potential to develop new sorts of goods, services, and experiences that consumers would be ready to pay for and be thrilled to pay.” He declined to provide any information on the potential premium features.
Although it currently offers a number of premium features across all of its applications, virtually all of Meta’s revenue comes from advertisements. Until recently, the social media behemoth hasn’t prioritised charging users. Hegeman questioned the likelihood of paid features contributing significantly to the company’s revenue in the near future, but added that “on the other hand, 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.”
In the long run, he said, Meta expects premium features to play a bigger role in its operations. “I do think it can really move the needle and make a really big difference on a five-year time horizon,” the author said.
Administrators of Facebook groups can already charge for access to premium content, and virtual “stars” can be bought and given to authors. Instagram recently revealed that artists could start charging a subscription for access to exclusive content, while WhatsApp recently stated that some businesses must pay for the right to communicate their customers. CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in June that until 2024, the business will not take a portion of sales from paid features and subscriptions.
The movement toward more premium features isn’t exclusive to Meta. Over the past couple of years, charging has become an increasingly common practise in social media platforms. Twitter has paid for Super Follows, TikTok tested paid memberships for authors earlier this year, and Discord exclusively relies on its Nitro subscription. Additionally, both Telegram and Snapchat introduced subscription tiers this year that open up new capabilities. The paid Snapchat layer has already proven to be popular.