Social media sites have tested numerous subscription services over the years, and rumors that some of the most popular sites could soon begin charging users for their accounts have been swirling online.
Various posts on Facebook claim the social media site will start charging its users $4.99 a month to access their accounts. The post reads, in part:
“Just announced on Channel 4 News. Facebook is charging all users starting Monday. You can do an opt-out by doing this. Hold your finger over this message and copy it. It can’t be shared. I do not give permission for Facebook to charge $4.99 a month to my account, also; all my pictures are my property of mine and NOT Facebook's!!!”
Several VERIFY readers asked us if the post is true.
Is Facebook planning to charge all users $4.99 a month?
No, Facebook is not planning to charge all users $4.99 a month.
WHAT WE FOUND
A spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of both Facebook and Instagram, told VERIFY that the company is not planning to charge users $4.99 a month to use Facebook.
Facebook’s Help Center says it does not charge people to use Facebook and instead charges advertisers to show ads on Facebook and Meta’s other social media sites.
Chain messages claiming that Facebook would soon charge people a fee to use the platform have persisted on Facebook for years. At least one such message has been around since 2009. Facebook has remained free since it first became accessible to the general public in 2006.
Meta does have some optional subscription services and programs it offers to users of Facebook and Instagram.
There are currently two different types of paid subscriptions on Facebook and Instagram.
The first is verification, where you pay a monthly fee to get a verification badge on your profile and access to exclusive account features. It costs $11.99 a month to subscribe to get Facebook Verified on the web, and $14.99 a month to subscribe to Facebook Verified or Instagram Verified on the mobile app. The Instagram Help Center says public accounts, such as celebrities or notable organizations, can continue to get verification through applying instead of paying for the service.
The second is account specific subscriptions. Users can pay for access to special content from other accounts. The revenue for these subscriptions go to the account you’re paying, with the exception of a 30% cut to Apple or Google if you subscribe over the mobile app.