Elon Musk’s ownership of social media giant Twitter could change his relationship with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Sunday that he is rolling out Meta Verified, the company’s new verification subscription service for Facebook and Instagram — just months after Twitter under new owner and CEO Elon Musk rolled out its verification- -based subscription business, relaunched Twitter Blue.
Meta Verified “sounds awfully like Twitter Blue,” Bernstein analyst Mark Schilsky said in a note to clients this week. “I think it’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg idolizes Elon Musk.”
Analysts also think it’s a smart move, expecting Meta to generate $360 million in annual revenue from the new subscription service.
As Insider recently reported, other analysts on Wall Street are more optimistic that Meta Verified could add $2 billion per year in revenue.
Shilsky’s comment is particularly interesting, though, given the history between the two tech billionaires.
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been publicly critical of each other for years — at least in 2016 after a SpaceX rocket exploded on the launch pad, destroying a Facebook satellite.
The pair have often criticized each other’s views on artificial intelligence.
In 2018, the profiles of Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX were removed from Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out.
Tesla CEO also said on Twitter “#DeleteFacebook it’s lame.”
The insult did not stop there. When a group of violent protesters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Musk tweeted a meme depicting a domino effect with the sentence “a website to rate women on campus”.
Which was a throwback to the early days of Facebook next to the first Domino’s. The piece and journalist Mark Leibovich’s tweet “Capitol seems to be under the control of a man in a Viking hat” is the last domino piece set to fall.
However, Shilsky may have a point. Musk shut down Twitter in the first week of November, shortly after gaining full ownership in October. A few days later Meta itself announced mass layoffs – the first in the company’s history.
While there were smaller layoffs in tech during the summer, the Twitter and Meta layoffs marked the beginning of what we now know as a brutal season of layoffs across sectors.
And now, with the launch of Meta Verified, Zuckerberg appears to be taking a page from Elon Musk’s so far tremendous drive to generate more subscription revenue from its users.
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