Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is planning to add more paid features across its applications as it seeks to boost revenue streams, technology website The Verge has reported.
The new group, called New Monetisation Experiences, would be the first serious attempt by the California-based company to boost income through paid services, including messaging platform WhatsApp and photo-sharing platform Instagram, the report said, citing an internal memo that was obtained by the site.
“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,” John Hegeman, vice president of monetisation and in charge of the new group, said in the report.
He declined to discuss the features being considered but these could include paid tiers — much like those Twitter and Snapchat owner Snap have launched — which will allow users to unlock additional functionalities.
Meta's unit in the UAE did not respond to requests for comment from The National.
Having paid services on Meta's platforms can potentially result in significantly higher profit, given the company's massive user base. It already has a number of paid features in its apps, but it has not been a priority to be expanded.
Meta has four of the world's 10 biggest social media platforms, with Facebook on top with more than 2.9 billion active users. Combined with WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, the company has an aggregate user base of almost 7.4 billion, according to data from Statista, which is more than 92 per cent of the estimated global population.
Such a move can also stem the decline in the company's bottom line, especially as advertising money — from which a significant chunk of Meta's business comes — is slowing down.
Meta in July reported that its second-quarter net profit slid 36 per cent year-on-year to $6.7 billion, recording its first quarterly revenue decline in the process, underpinned by a decrease in advertising and rising competition from other platforms, most notably TikTok.
Revenue dropped nearly 1 per cent annually to more than $28.8bn in the three months ending in June, missing analysts’ estimates of $28.9bn.
Mr Hegeman said Meta had no plans to allow people pay certain amounts to deactivate advertisements in its apps.
The new unit will be led by Pratiti Raychoudhury, the former head of research at Meta, the report said.
Paid features are set to become a bigger part of Meta's strategy in the long term and Mr Hegeman said the company would note a "pretty significant difference" within five years.