New world. Paid social networks? Facebook raises the threat


Illustration of the Facebook application. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

“Help Facebook to stay free.” This is the message that users of the Facebook app on iPhone have recently seen appearing on iPhone. Ditto for Instagram [qui appartient à Facebook]. Blackmail or bluff from a social media group?

Apple’s new iPhone ad tracking rules, which allow users to choose whether or not to share their personal information, are definitely not appealing to Facebook. The Californian group, whose business model is based on targeted advertising, fears a drop in its revenues. In this warning window that users (not all, and especially in the United States) have seen appear, Facebook and Instagram encourage them not to change anything in their habits and to continue to accept advertising tracking. Among the reasons given, it is specified that this “keep these social networks free”. From there to deduce that Facebook and Instagram could become chargeable, there is only one step.

Of course, we are not there yet. However, we remember, that three years ago, Mark Zuckerberg had released a little sentence making a lot of noise explaining that he “there would still be a free version of Facebook”. Was it already necessary to conclude that a paid version could see the light of day? It remains to be seen whether this is a simple threat or a possible future, not only for Facebook but also, why not, for other social platforms.

Meanwhile, social networks devoted to audio exchanges are still generating as much interest. We call it “social audio”. Clubhouse, which is currently only available on iPhone, hints that it should arrive soon on Android, according to a company tweet. It is about time because the craze for this new audio platform seems to be stalling. The number of downloads of the application is in free fall, with “only” 2.7 million downloads in March and less than 1 million in April, against nearly 10 million in February.

In any case, the competition is organized. Twitter has just launched Spaces, an equivalent of Clubhouse that allows you to chat orally in groups. The function is accessible on condition of having at least 600 followers. For its part, the Facebook group is also preparing an audio lounge system, both for Facebook and for Instagram.



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