Meta to Roll Out Paid Verification on Facebook and Instagram
Mark Zuckerberg is taking a page right out of the Elon Musk playbook.
Following Twitter's introduction of a paid verification subscription service last year, Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, is following suit. Zuckerberg, Meta's CEO, announced the decision via a Facebook post and Instagram story, writing, "This week we're starting to roll out Meta Verified — a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support."
Zuck further explains that the motivation behind the new product is beefing up security for users, adding, "This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services." Meta Verified starts at $11.99 a month on web or $14.99 a month on iOS, and will be rolled out first in Australia and New Zealand.
While Facebook or Instagram verification may be useful for brands and influencers, reactions from ordinary users have been mixed. Many recalled the recent outrage towards Musk's Twitter Blue subscription, offered for $8, which made it more difficult to tell who on Twitter is a legitimate journalist or notable account. However, it's worth pointing out that Zuck appears to have learned from this mistake: a distinguishing factor for Meta is the requirement of a government ID.
And unlike Musk, who originally planned to force legacy verified accounts to subscribe or lose their checks, Zuckerberg has not passed any ruling about accounts that are currently already verified, suggesting they will be able to maintain their status in the new era. Either way, perhaps the biggest benefit of subscribing isn't the verification — but rather the expanded reach.
Earlier this month, Meta posted its first revenue decline since the company went public in 2012, with sales falling 1% in 2022. Amidst spiraling stock value, declining ad revenue, and a costly venture into the metaverse, Zuckerberg has been facing pressure to appease shareholders.
See how Twitter reacted to the news of Meta's paid verification below.
\u201cInstagram is soon launching \u2018Meta Verified\u2019 where you can pay a monthly fee to become verified on the platform and get some \u201cperks\u201d for joining\u2026 \n\nI knew this was going to happen, Social Media is becoming pay to play.\u201d— ChaoticBunny (@ChaoticBunny) 1676819193
\u201cThe biggest part of this news at Meta (and Twitter) isn\u2019t the \u201cverified\u201d checkmark, it\u2019s the \u201cincreased visibility and reach\u201d https://t.co/m1vlYtqnwx\u201d— Sarah Frier (@Sarah Frier) 1676846028
\u201cMark Zuckerberg apparently not embarrassed enough by spending $50 billion on a metaverse no one wants so now he\u2019s copying Elon\u2019s Twitter Blue\u201d— Paul Tassi (@Paul Tassi) 1676832202
\u201cMark Zuckerberg just announced that Meta is launching \u201cMeta Verified.\u201d \n\nFor a monthly subscription fee, and a government ID, you can get your Meta accounts (Facebook, Instagram) verified. \n\nThe key difference between this and Twitter Blue is the requirement of a government ID.\u201d— Yashar Ali \ud83d\udc18 \u06cc\u0627\u0634\u0627\u0631 (@Yashar Ali \ud83d\udc18 \u06cc\u0627\u0634\u0627\u0631) 1676821654
Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images