Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of a pay-for-verification subscription service for Instagram and Facebook in an Instagram update on Sunday.
“Meta Verified” will start rolling out this week at $11.99 a month on the web or $14.99 a month on iOS in the App Store. The company will launch in Australia and New Zealand first, with “more countries” coming “soon.”
The new service will include added perks such as direct access to customer support and increased protection against impersonation accounts.
Customers seeking to get verified and have the blue badge appear on their account will need to be above 18 years of age and provide a government ID matching their profile name and picture.
“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Zuckerberg stated.
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The company clarified in a statement that no changes would be made to accounts that were previously verified, CNN reported. Previously, verification was only for users who were deemed “authentic and notable.”
“We are evolving the meaning of the blue badge to focus on authenticity so we can expand verification access to more people,” a Meta spokesperson stated.
“We will display follower count in more places so people can distinguish which accounts are notable public figures among accounts that share the same name,” the spokesperson added.
The company now joins other platforms, like Twitter, in adding and launching subscription-based verification models.
Twitter Blue, Twitter’s own newly launched verification subscription service, was forced to re-launch after it was pulled due to fake “verified” accounts.
The subscription service now costs $11 a month for iOS and Android subscribers and is part of CEO Elon Musk’s plan to increase its subscriptions business.