Mocked, accused of copying Twitter, or of having been launched in a hurry: the new paid subscription service announced by Meta for Facebook and Instagram is arousing rather lukewarm reactions from experts and Internet users.
Called Meta Verified, this new service offers subscribers the benefit of a blue verification badge, direct access to the company's customer service, greater visibility, and additional protection against data theft. 'identify.
For several Wall Street analysts, this subscription will not be able to generate short-term revenues equivalent to the colossal sums drawn from advertising revenues.
"We don't expect the new account verification service to exceed 1-2% of total revenue over the next 18 months," predicts CFRA's Angelo Zino.
Mr. Zino, however, insists on the need for Meta to diversify its sources of income at a time when inflation is weighing on advertisers' expenses and when Mark Zuckerberg's group faces fierce competition in the online advertising market.
Before Meta, Twitter has already launched its paid verification offer, which gives access to its famous blue tick, but also to better post promotion, fewer ads, and the possibility of posting longer tweets.
This service, which had a chaotic start, has been one of Elon Musk's top strategic priorities since his $44 billion takeover of the Twitter network.
Several Internet users have also suspected Mark Zuckerberg of plagiarizing the multi-billionaire boss of Tesla by hastily launching Meta Verified. "Inevitable," Musk replied to a tweet making the accusation.
For Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities, launching a paid subscription is a "risky" bet for Meta.
"There could be a backlash from consumers who will never want to pay a dime for Facebook or Instagram and this move could push them out ," he said.
Especially since the price could be prohibitive for some: 11.99 dollars per month for the web offer and 14.99 dollars via devices equipped with the operating system of Apple or Google, which take a commission on the purchases made in their app stores.
“For most Meta users, whether on Facebook or Instagram, this new offering is likely to be met with a shrug of indifference,” anticipates Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Lansdown.
The analyst, however, thinks that small businesses and high-profile individuals may be tempted to pay to protect themselves from hacks or to gain more visibility. There was also a lot of reaction to making increased protection against identity theft a charge.