Facebook will begin charging $12 monthly for verified blue checks on accounts.
Meta is testing a paid subscription service for Facebook and Instagram. Along with the blue verified badge, the paid social media platform also offers other perks like increased visibility, extra protection from impersonation accounts, direct access to customer support, as well as exclusive stickers for stories and reels. Folks will also receive 100 free stars per month or digital currency, which can be used to tip creators.
Known as Meta Verified, the service will cost $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 on mobile. The tech company is launching the initiative in Australia and New Zealand this week. Users in more countries will be able to add the verified badge to their Facebook and Instagram pages soon. The announcement was made by Mark Zuckerberg in a post on the photo-sharing platform.
“This week we’re starting to roll out Meta Verified, a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID, Zuckerberg wrote via The Verge. He added that the new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across Facebook and Instagram. To sign up, users must be over 18 years old and meet the minimum activity requirements.
A government ID that matches the name and photo that appears on Facebook or Instagram must also be included in the application process. While the service sounds a lot like Twitter Blue, the changes won’t affect verified accounts that used previous requirements like notability and authenticity. Verified users won’t be able to change their profile name, username, birthday, or photo without repeating the process.
In a blog post, Meta outlined its reasons for launching the paid subscription feature. “We want to build an offering that’s valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses, and our community at large,” the Facebook parent company explained. As part of this vision, the social media giant is evolving the meaning of the verified badge.
This will expand access to verification, and more people can trust that the accounts they interact with on social media are authentic. The follower count on Facebook and Instagram will also be displayed in more places so people can distinguish which accounts are notable public figures among accounts that share the same name. With the launch, Meta joins Discord, and YouTube who all offer subscription-based models.
Subscription offerings have become popular among social networks because it helps diversify their advertising-reliant businesses. It also offers a more consistent revenue stream. However, the volume of Facebook and Instagram users willing to pay for services that have always been free remains unknown. The biggest draw to the paid service will probably be increased visibility.
This is largely due to existing algorithms that make it difficult for posts to be seen by a user’s followers on Facebook and Instagram. Increased visibility will improve prominence in some areas of the platforms like search, comments, and recommendations. Meta’s announcement comes after the company lost more than $600 billion in market value in 2022.
According to NPR, the Facebook parent company reported year-over-year declines in revenue for the last three consecutive quarters. But the most recent report may be a sign of positive news. Zuckerberg said his primary goal is to focus on efficiency to help the company recover financially.