Meta will sell a blue badge on Instagram and Facebook • TechCrunch

Meta will sell a blue badge on Instagram and Facebook • TechCrunch

Facebook parent Meta has launched a subscription service, called Meta Verified, that will allow users to add the coveted blue check mark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for up to $15 a month by verifying their identity, said its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday. , tapping into a new revenue channel that has had mixed success for smaller rival Twitter.

The subscription service, rolling out for the first time in New Zealand and Australia starting this week, is priced at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 on Apple’s iOS. (The company didn’t say when it plans to make the service available for purchase through its Android apps.) Meta will allow users to verify their identity using their government-issued ID cards. The company said the subscription service will also provide “increased visibility and reach,” improved protection against impersonation attacks, and direct access to customer support.

Meta Verified “aims to increase the authenticity and security of our services,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. The subscription service will be expanded to “more countries soon”, he said, without specifying the timeline. We asked Meta a few more questions and will update the story when we get back to you.

Revenue for Meta, which has opted not to charge its customers for most of its services for more than a decade and a half since its inception, has taken a hit in recent years following Apple’s decision to introduce Strict privacy changes on iOS that limit the social enterprise’s ability to track users’ internet activities. The Zuckerberg-led company, which makes almost all of its money from advertising, said last year that Apple’s move would cost the company more than $10 billion in lost ad revenue in 2022. subscriptions are becoming popular among social media companies.

Sunday’s announcement follows social platform Snap which launched its own subscription service last year, through which it has already converted more than a million users into paying customers, as well as Elon Musk who revamped Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, to offer a range of additional features, including the blue tick. Twitter has expanded Twitter Blue to more than a dozen markets in recent months, including India and Indonesia. By mid-January, only about 180,000 accounts had signed up for Twitter Blue, according to The Information.

Musk, a vocal critic of Facebook services, is betting on turning Twitter Blue into a major revenue engine for Twitter, which he acquired last year for $44 billion.

The blue tick has long been one of the most coveted features on social media platforms. Previously, it was reserved for public figures such as lawmakers, actors, musicians, sportsmen and journalists.

Musk lambasted the idea, arguing that the feature should be open to everyone. Those who have achieved the blue tick outside of the Twitter Blue subscription will eventually lose it, he previously said. Zuckerberg didn’t say if Meta plans to redo its entire verified library, and he didn’t mention if the subscription service will be extended to enterprises.

Meta, whose shares have rebounded in recent weeks, is also reeling from a harsh market response to its view of the great metaverse. The company, which has laid off about 11,000 employees in the past two months, has pledged to cut spending on Metaverse ambitions. He is reportedly planning another round of layoffs soon.

“The problem with religion is that it requires a leap of faith. Believing in something that you may never be able to prove conclusively. And there will be times that will test that faith. , moments that will have you questioning everything you previously accepted as fact. Drama aside, 2022 has been a tough year for believers in the House of Zuck, with many being pushed to the brink or throwing the towel, culminating in the capitulation we saw last quarter,” Bernstein analysts wrote in a note this month.

“But it looks like Meta has found its own religion on efficiency/profitability and investors now find a leaner, sharper company in front of them.”

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