WhatsApp and Instagram will get paid features in the future

WhatsApp and Instagram will get more paid features in the future. So says parent company Meta, which has set up a department to research and implement options for such features.

In any case, it’s not about paying to turn off ads, says Meta CEO John Hegeman to The Verge. The intent is to create features that users will be “willing to pay for” in the future. The company does not say what functions it will be. It concerns functions in WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. The company does not say whether these are one-time payments or subscriptions.

This concerns a change in Meta’s revenue model, which until now has mainly relied on the sale of advertisements. That revenue took a serious hit because Apple required that apps in iOS must request permission for tracking. As a result, ads are less personalized, which costs Meta revenue.

Meta already has several paid functions in its services. For example, companies can pay for certain WhatsApp features for business use. In five years’ time, subscriptions should make a significant contribution to Meta’s turnover. With the arrival of paid functions in WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, the company follows various competitors. Telegram has had a paid subscription for some time and Snapchat has that too. Discord has had its Nitro subscription for years.