If you're stumped by recent messages claiming you may soon have to pay for Facebook, you are not alone.
Rumors like this have circulated for a decade.
But, in recent weeks, Meta's plans for a new paid subscription service make it appear you may soon be asked to sign over a credit card.
So we wanted to clear up the confusion.
Kim Roberts is a Facebook user who says she is a little alarmed.
"Numerous times," she said. "I have seen it posted on there that they are going to start charging, but I have not seen anything else about it."
This longtime Facebook member says friends of hers keep sharing warnings about a new fee to use Facebook, and its sister service, Instagram.
"They all say you are going to be charged for this, so copy and paste this on your page," she said.
So what's the truth?
It turns out that Facebook's parent company Meta is testing a new subscription bundle that will cost you money for the first time ever.
But you may recall that Facebook said it would always be free.
That's the case for regular Facebook or Instagram users, where payment will not be required.
Earlier this year, however, meta introduced"Meta Verified."
If you are willing to pay $15 a month on mobile, or $12 on the web, Meta says you will get:
- A verified badge
- Increased visibility
- Account monitoring
And other features such as impersonation protection.
Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau worries some users will be confused.
"This is not for the average everyday social media user," she said.
She says Meta Verified is geared toward content creators or people trying to grow a business.
So, she says, if you get an email, text, or direct message about having to pay for Facebook, ignore it.
"You'll get people spreading rumors on social media," she said. "Saying, 'we have to pay for Facebook, and I'm not going to do that.'"
But none of that is true. And there is no need to share the alarmist message.
The change is similar to Twitter charging for its blue check verification.
It's also a way for you to verify that you're interacting with a legitimate source.
"It will show you that is the real business," McGovern said.
Facebook member Alicia Williams is glad to have it cleared up because if she did get charged, she said, "I probably wouldn't use it anymore!"
Meta Verified is now being tested in Australia and New Zealand.
So at least for now, you don't have to pay for Facebook, even if you run a small business.
And you don't waste your money.