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Facebook Plans to Sell 'Meta-Verified' Accounts

For Facebook and Instagram blue badges, Meta will begin charging $11.99 per month

By Shahid AnwarPublished about a year ago 3 min read

For Facebook and Instagram blue badges, Meta will begin charging $11.99 per month. In order to gain power users' attention, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, wants to charge for some of the features of their sites, taking a page out of Twitter's playbook, which charges for verified blue checkmarks on Twitter's sites.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, said in a Facebook post and Instagram post on Sunday that a new subscription service called Meta Verified would be available starting this week in Australia and New Zealand, with the intention of eventually expanding the service to other countries. Users will be able to get a blue badge and direct access to customer support for $11.99 a month (or $14.99 if purchased on Apple’s operating system, iOS). The company described the move as a “gradual test.”

It aims to increase authenticity and security across our services, Zuckerberg said. As part of Meta Verified, users will be required to submit a government ID to prove their identity, and subscribers will only be allowed to use their legal names on profile pages. Subscribers will have extra protection against accounts pretending to be them, Zuckerberg said.

By Timothy Hales Bennett on Unsplash

In the coming weeks, Meta Verified will be extended to the United States, according to a Meta spokeswoman. She declined to name any other countries where Meta Verified will be available. In order to get blue badges on both Facebook and Instagram, you must register separately in Meta Verified meaning that those who wish to have both accounts must pay $24 a month but Meta plans to offer bundled subscriptions in the future.

As Meta said in this blog post, those who already have verified accounts on Instagram and Facebook will be able to maintain them at no cost, at least for now, the company explained in a blog post. The company described this new paid service as a way for it to "help up-and-coming creators grow their presence and build communities faster.".

Twitter announced last week it would disable two-factor authentication through text messages for users who are not paying for Twitter Blue. Meta's subscription move follows Twitter's push under its new owner, Elon Musk, to charge $8 per month for blue check marks.

By Dima Solomin on Unsplash

Even as Meta continues to invest billions in its shift to the so-called metaverse, the company has been cutting costs and looking for new income streams as it cuts costs and hunts for new income streams. Zuckerberg announced this month that his company would become a stronger and more agile organization in 2023 as he declared his management theme to be "the Year of Efficiency."

The blue checkmark has long been one of the most sought after features on social media platforms. Musk, a vocal critic of Facebook, is betting that Twitter Blue will become a major revenue driver for Twitter, which he acquired for $44 billion last year. A blue checkmark was previously reserved for public figures like legislators, actors, musicians, athletes and journalists.

Twitter Blue subscribers who achieve the blue tick mark outside the subscription will eventually lose it, Musk has previously said. Musk has lambasted the idea, arguing that it should be open to everyone. Meta said that no changes will be made to accounts on Instagram and Facebook already verified based on prior requirements, such as authenticity and notability, during testing and learning.

Its shares have rebounded in recent weeks, but Meta is also reeling from a harsh market response to its metaverse plans. The company, which has laid off about 11,000 employees in the past two months, has pledged to cut down on its spending on the metaverse ambitions. Another round of layoffs is reportedly in the works.

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Shahid Anwar

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