Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, recently revealed a new paid subscription service with Facebook and Instagram. This service will cost $11.99 for web platforms and $14.99 for IOS users. The service will give customers features like blue check marks, extra defense against being impersonated and direct communication to customer support representatives. Subscription services will be available first in Australia and New Zealand and eventually spread throughout the world.

In the past no social media company dared to charge users. Granted, Twitter had its Blue service which allowed you the feature to edit your post. However once Elon purchased Twitter he included a check mark feature and a two-step text verification; for account protection.

I think when you charge the consumer there has to be some real valid reason behind it. In Elon’s case he had just purchased Twitter and the company was not making profit, it was losing it. Elon also had to deal with Twitter’s over-inflated staff and issues with the actual service itself. In addition Elon questioned staff on what the process of getting a check mark was; no one really had an answer.

When Elon was in the process of reorganizing and restructuring Twitter, he approached the task by utilizing a lean approach similar to that used with Tesla and SpaceX. To that end, he provided a checklist of features for the service and reluctantly had to reduce staff to redirect the company’s trajectory.

In a move that has certainly caught users off guard, Meta recently announced a subscription model. This comes in contrast to their usual practice of discussing future changes & upcoming products. It appears that Meta is attempting to emulate Twitter with this decision.

Meta, having a subscription service with an actual customer service that is reachable, increased security features and a signature blue check mark may seem like it would be beneficial for customers, but in reality it can be more of a hindrance. It implies that your business had the capabilities of providing premium services at any moment but only decided when there was a monetary gain to do so.

The traditional concept of healthy competition between different companies has been replaced by something much more stagnant. Instead of each organization finding their own unique edge, they simply observe the one that attempts to do something new and then try to replicate it. As a consequence of this lack of creativity, there is an increasing gap between companies and the consumer; stunting any potential development in the industry. Bottom line this is why the consumer is fickle.