- Elon Musk said it’s “inevitable” Meta would go the way of Twitter in charging for verified statuses.
- Meta announced its paid subscription program for Facebook and Instagram on Sunday.
- The subscription starts at $11.99 a month if purchased via a web browser, per CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Elon Musk said it’s “inevitable” Meta would go Twitter’s way and charge for verified statuses, mere hours after the announcement of the new “Meta Verified” subscription service.
Musk — who started implementing monetization programs at Twitter ever since he took over in October 2022 — was responding to a tweet that said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg copied Twitter by charging for user verification statuses.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2023
Meta’s verified paid subscription program for Facebook and Instagram starts at $11.99 a month if purchased via a web browser, Zuckerberg said on Sunday. “This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” he said, adding that subscribers will get extra impersonation protection and direct access to customer service.
Meta will start rolling out the service in Australia and New Zealand earlier this week.
Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, told Insider’s Joyti Mann on Sunday it’s logical for Meta to roll out its verification program. “The market has already been tested by rivals, the perks mostly already exist and don’t require much engineering time to pull together for this new product, and it generates a new revenue stream at a time when most companies are facing challenging economic headwinds,” said Navarra.
Meta’s shares closed 0.3% higher at $172.88 on Friday. They are up 44% this year so far.
Challenging economic headwinds ahead
The tech sector is facing difficult times and has seen over 108,000 layoffs across 380 tech companies in 2023 so far, according to the layoffs.ai tracker.
And Meta hasn’t been immune to such challenges either — especially since Zuckerberg’s relentless pursuit into the metaverse cost the company $13.7 billion in 2022. To cut costs, Meta laid off 11,000 people in November and promised that 2023 is going to be a “year of efficiency.”
It’s no wonder then that companies are also looking for ways to generate more revenue streams.
Musk first launched Twitter Blue in November 2022 in a bid to generate revenue for the social media platform. He also instituted sweeping changes to cut costs, including mass layoffs and scaling back on employee benefits like free lunches. Musk said in November 2022 that Twitter was losing $4 million a day.
The program — which costs $8 a month or $84 a year in the US if it’s purchased via a web browser, and more if it’s purchased via the Apple and Android app stores — is now available in 15 countries including the US, the UK, India, and Japan.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
The current version of the Twitter Blue verification program was reintroduced in December after temporarily being put on hold in November when some users paid for it to impersonate accounts of companies and politicians. Twitter now requires all Blue subscribers to confirm their phone numbers.