Meta is testing a subscription service which will allow Instagram and Facebook users to pay to get verified, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Instagram Sunday.
“Meta Verified” will start at $11.99 a month on the web or $14.99 a month on iOS, and the company will begin releasing it in Australia and New Zealand this week and “more countries soon.”
The service also comes with other perks: extra protection from impersonation accounts and direct access to customer support.
To avoid fake accounts, customers who want to get the blue badge would need to provide a government ID which matches their profile name and picture. Users must also be above 18 to be eligible.
“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Zuckerberg wrote in an Instagram broadcast channel.
In a statement, Meta clarified there will be no changes to accounts that are already verified. Verification was previously for users who are “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 said. “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.”
Meta joins other platforms, like Discord, Reddit and YouTube, who have their own subscription-based models.
Twitter relaunched its own verification subscription service, Twitter Blue, in December, after an onset of fake “verified” accounts forced it to pull the feature. The check mark options now have different colors to differentiate between accounts: gold checks for companies, gray checks for government entities and other organizations, and blue checks for individuals, whether or not they are celebrities.
Twitter Blue costs $11 a month for iOS and Android subscribers, part of owner Elon Musk’s attempt to raise its subscriptions business after buying the platform for $44 billion.
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