It looks like Meta’s plans to charge subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram have gone down, along with an offensive meme posted by your uncle, with searches for how to disable Facebook and Instagram exploding after the news.
A quick glance at Google Trends (and highlighted by VPNOverview.com (opens in a new tab)) shows a surge in searches for “Disable Instagram” – with an incredible 2,400% increase peaking just after the news broke on February 19.
Searches for “Disable Facebook” also increased by 1,566%. While Google Trends, which measures the popularity of certain terms when used by people searching the Internet with Google, shows that after these big spikes things have calmed down again, it is clear that Meta’s plans made many people consider quitting these social media platforms.
If you’re considering quitting the platforms, check out our guides on how to deactivate Facebook and how to deactivate Instagram for a step-by-step process.
Thanks Elon, I hate it
While it might be fun to blame Elon Musk for All that’s wrong with the modern world, the fact that Meta announced its subscription plans so soon after Musk bought rival platform Twitter and implemented controversial changes with the Twitter Blue subscription seems more just a coincidence – but that’s probably exactly what it is.
Surely no one at Meta looked at how poorly received Twitter Blue was and thought “we’d love to have a piece of that.”
Instead, like Twitter, it looks like Meta is trying to find a way to make money from its social media platforms, and it looks like adding a “Meta Verified Subscription” for $11.99 / AU$19.99 (around £10) (or AU$14.99 / AU$24.99 (around £13) for mobile users) with the promise of “increased visibility and reach with prominence in certain areas of the platform,” including search, reviews, and recommendations, the company hopes to boost its earnings, which have been increasingly shaky of late, especially with CEO Mark’s obsession with Zuckerberg for Metaverse virtual reality bleeding money.
It’s a gamble that, so far, doesn’t seem to have paid off. The subscription service hasn’t even launched yet, but that’s got a lot of people wondering how to exit the platforms. While Facebook and Instagram will continue to be free to use, there is an understandable concern that people who don’t pay to be “Meta Verified” will essentially be treated as second-class citizens.
It is not known how many of these searches ended in their accounts being deactivated, but Meta is unable to find out. Time will tell if this backlash causes the company to revise its plans.
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