Instagram and Facebook get paid verification service

Meta is introducing a paid verification service for folks on Facebook and Instagram.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, unveiled the new service in an online message on Saturday. Meta Verified will launch first in Australia and New Zealand before being rolled out more widely.

Similar to Twitter’s recently revamped Twitter Blue verification service, Meta Verified requires a monthly fee of $12 for those signing up via the web, or $15 for sign-ups via iOS and Android.

Subscribers will be able to verify their account with a government-issued ID. Once a check is complete, a verified account will receive a blue badge, extra protection against impersonation accounts, and direct access to customer support.

Other advantages include increased visibility and reach with prominence in some areas of the platform such as search, comments, and recommendations, and access to exclusive features “to express yourself in unique ways.”

Only those who have a history of posting can sign up, and you have to be 18 or over. In addition, the service will be unavailable to businesses accounts for now.

“Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that’s valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses, and our community at large,” the company said. “As part of this vision, we are evolving the meaning of the verified badge so we can expand access to verification, and more people can trust [that] the accounts they interact with are authentic.”

It added that accounts on Instagram and Facebook that are already verified based on prior requirements would see no change.

The new service will give Meta another way to rake in billions of dollars of extra revenue as the company looks for ways to kick-start growth after recently posting a rare decline. It came in the wake of big investments in the metaverse and a hit to its ads business after Apple introduced increased privacy protections for those with iPhones. As part of efforts to save money, Meta last November announced it was laying off 13% of its workforce, equal to about 13,000 jobs at the company.

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