Meta announces verification subscription service for Facebook and Instagram users

Meta announces verification subscription service for Facebook and Instagram users

Platforms will begin testing the service in Australia and New Zealand.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced a new paid subscription for its platforms on Sunday, which, among other features, would allow users to pay for a verified account.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the service, dubbed “Meta Verified,” in a Facebook post on Sunday morning and said the move was intended to “increase the authenticity and security of our services.”

Zuckerberg added that the service would cost users who subscribe through an internet browser $11.99, or $14.99 if purchased through a Meta iOS app.

The news comes as social media companies look to cut costs and boost revenue, with several others, such as Telegram, Snapchat and Twitter, launching their own services with varying features.

Meta posted its third straight quarter of revenue declines this month and laid off 11,000 employees — 13% of its workforce — in November to become “a leaner, more efficient business,” Zuckerberg said.

Along with a blue verification badge on profiles, Meta said the service will also offer “additional identity theft protection” for subscribers, direct access to a live support agent for account issues and increased reach and visibility on the platform.

Subscribers must also submit government ID that matches their profile name and photo, be at least 18 years old, and have a posting history.

Meta’s announcement follows a plan by Twitter CEO Elon Musk to offer a similar service called Twitter Blue, which lets users pay for a verification check and will eventually prioritize tweets from verified users. in comments and searches. Musk also promised to phase out Twitter’s previous verification system, which required users to be notable.

However, the Twitter Blue rollout was overwhelmed by a wave of impersonator accounts that forced the company to temporarily remove the verification feature.

It was relaunched a few weeks later, with Twitter eventually preventing users from editing aspects of their profile or losing their verification checks to root out impersonators. Twitter Blue does not require users to submit a government ID to be verified.

New Meta Verified subscribers also won’t be able to change profile details, such as photo, name, and username, “without going through the Meta Verified subscription and verification application process.”

Meta said there will be “no changes to accounts on Instagram and Facebook that are already verified based on prerequisite requirements, including authenticity and notability.”

The new service starts rolling out this week with a phased test to “learn what’s most valuable” before a global launch.

“We will be rolling out this week to Australia and New Zealand,” Zuckerberg said, “and soon to other countries.”

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