You could soon have to pay to use key features on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Meta—Mark Zuckerberg's company which owns these social apps—is reportedly creating a new division to look at "possible paid features" for them.
It could be a major new income stream for the social media giant, which also makes billions of pounds each year off of advertising and user data.
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According to The Verge, internal memos at the company announced that Meta will be launching and building its 'New Monetization Experiences' division over the next five years.
However, Meta—which currently earns the vast majority of its money through advertising—says they aren't planning to let users 'switch off' ads any time soon.
This means that as well as making money from user data, they'll also be able to generate revenue from subscription fees.
It's unclear what the paid features could be exactly, but Meta's VP of monetisation John Hegeman told The Verge: "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."
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The announcement comes weeks after Instagram launched a subscription service which allows people to access exclusive content from their favourite channels in exchange for a monthly fee.
Its paid-for subscription service lets creators post stories, go live, and hand out badges to their subscribers. They can even run 'Subscriber Chats' and set up DM group chats with their donors.
Announcing the news in July, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said: "This is just one step on a much longer path to provide creators everywhere with a whole range of tools to be able to make a living online, but we're really excited about this one."
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