With Twitter Blue being in business for more than a year, and Snap just launching Snapchat+, we are in the age of paid social media. Meta can’t afford to delay offering the Facebook+ and Facebook VIP experiences for too long.
Snapchat Plus doesn’t really offer all that much, actually. It’ll cost $4/month in the U.S., Canada, a handful of European nations, plus Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The features offered are not very impressive.
- Exclusive, experimental features that are not yet available (to be revealed in the future).
- Change the icon in your app
- Check out who viewed your story
- Pin top chat friends
- and that’s about it …
It’s kind of a typical Snap announcement, I guess. Snapchat+ can be an incredible bargain, or it could prove to be a waste of money depending on the outcome of pre-release feature tests. Snapchat cannot block ads.
Twitter Blue has been around a bit longer, so you’d expect a few more features. And it certainly delivers on the ad-free status that you’d expect from a paid product. Here’s what Twitter currently offers for $3/month:
- There are no ads
- Custom app icons
- Navigation custom
- The best articles
- Undo tweet
It’s a bit more comprehensive list, but it’s nothing that blows you away per se. Beside the no ads for paid accounts, it’s a pretty simple list of customizations and personalizations that you might expect any mature product to offer.
The question is: if it’s literally so simple to offer a “Plus” product for an additional charge, why is Facebook/Meta not jumping on the bandwagon? This is why Reddit has not looked at Pinterest or other social apps like TikTok.
It’s likely that they are. And they’ve been thinking about it for some time.
“There will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” Zuckerberg said four years ago during a U.S. Senate Judiciary and Commerce hearing.
That doesn’t preclude, however, the company offering a version that does cost, and does offer additional features, whether that’s an enhanced version for ordinary people or an administrator version with additional capability for companies or leaders of big groups or pages.
With the ongoing economic downturn, any source of revenue that looks secure and regular — like subscription revenue — is likely to look good to the platforms. Which means we’re likely to see more “Plus” versions in the next 12 months.
However, the question is whether or not people will put enough premium functionality into their paid versions to make them attractive enough to be adopted by large numbers of users. Snapchat+, Twitter Blue and Twitter Blue appear to be vanity versions. They are only for people who can afford them.
They don’t seem like must-haves that make any specific persons’ lives better or easier.