Last month, Elon Musk suggested all users of X, formerly called Twitter, may have to pay for access to the platform.
Meta is exploring a plan that could make European users pay as much as $14 to access ad-free versions of Instagram and Facebook, or agree to personalised ads for free versions of the service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
As highlighted in the report, Meta’s proposal would charge users $10.50 monthly on a desktop for a Facebook or Instagram account and roughly $6 for each additional linked account, the report said.
The pitch to regulators comes amid European Union rules that has appeared to jeopardise the platform’s leading source of revenue.
EU privacy regulators have stated that Facebook and Instagram shouldn’t use their terms of service to require users to accept ads based on their digital activity.
Meta platforms like Instagram and Facebook sell ads on social media websites and mobile applications.
In 2022, the platforms generated 114 billion US dollars in revenue through its Family of Apps (FoA) segment, which consists of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and other services.
As emphasised in the report, Meta has told regulators it hopes to roll out the plan, which it calls “SNA, or subscription no ads” in the next coming months.
However, the plan appears to go against owner Mark Zuckerberg’s views as the billionaire has previously said the company’s services should remain free.
“You don’t need thousands of dollars to connect with people who use our services,” Zuckerberg said at a 2018 conference.
The proposal by Meta comes after competitor Elon Musk suggested that X, formerly known as Twitter, is considering charging all users to access the social media platform.
Speaking on a panel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who questioned the platform’s embrace of neo-Nazis following Musk’s takeover, the South African tycoon expressed that he was thinking of “moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system”.
“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” the billionaire said.
“Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny – call it a tenth of a penny – but if somebody even has to pay a few dollars, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high,” he added.
Musk, who has a history of making unplanned statements and not following through, has yet to confirm whether X would push ahead with the charging policy.
Now, Musk appears to be focused on new video features, including game streaming and live shopping, as part of his attempt to turn X into an “everything app.”
Earlier this week, Musk showed off the new feature Diablo IV stream, an online-only action role-playing game.
“Tested the X video game streamer last night,” the SpaceX and Tesla boss posted on X.
“Will try to complete a Tier 100 Nightmare dungeon tonight live on this platform,” Musk also wrote.
To expand his efforts to become an “everything app,” X announced that it will run a livestream shopping event with media personality Paris Hilton.
CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, spoke on the partnership, writing, “We’re excited to launch an official partnership with you and your next-gen media company 11:11. Together we’re going to create a launchpad for new initiatives in video and live video, live commerce, Spaces, and so much more. Let’s do this!.”
The feature is anticipated to allow X users to watch a live-streamed video, chat with others, shop simultaneously, and hang out in Spaces.
However, the announcement was brief as it did not reveal when the livestream event would start, nor include what products would be sold.
Since acquiring X in a $44 billion deal, the Tesla tycoon has voiced his ambitions to turn the platform into a WeChat-style “super app” with numerous functions in one site.
“If you’re in China, you kind of live on WeChat; it does everything. It’s sort of like Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a whole bunch of other things. And all rolled into one […] great interface. It’s really an excellent app,” he said.