Instagram and Facebook to get paid-for verification

Feb 20

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced the introduction of a paid verification feature for its social media platforms. The subscription-based service, called Meta Verified, will offer users the opportunity to pay for a blue tick verification badge for $11.99 a month on the web or $14.99 for iPhone users. The feature is aimed at increasing security and authenticity on the platforms. While the verification badges were initially designed for high-profile accounts, any individual will now be able to pay for the badge, which will provide increased visibility for their posts and protection from impersonators. Meta has stated that the change will not affect previously verified accounts, but some smaller users who become verified through the paid feature could experience increased visibility.

Similar to Twitter's premium Blue subscription, which was introduced in 2022, the Meta Verified subscription will offer users the ability to access customer service more easily, protection from impersonators, and easier account verification processes. The subscription feature will only be available for individual users at this time, and not for businesses. Other social media platforms, such as Reddit, YouTube, and Discord, similarly use subscription-based models.

To obtain a blue tick verification badge, Instagram and Facebook usernames must match a government-issued ID document, and the user's profile picture must include their face. Twitter's paid-for verification feature was temporarily paused last November after some individuals impersonated celebrities and brands by purchasing the badge. The Meta Verified feature will initially be available in Australia and New Zealand this week, with no confirmed timeline for rollout to other countries.

The paid subscription service is part of Meta's attempts to increase its revenue after 11,000 job losses were announced in November 2022 due to over-investment during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a post on his Facebook page at the time, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that he had anticipated an increase in the company's growth during the pandemic but ultimately experienced a decline due to a macroeconomic downturn and increased competition.

Many people in the tech sector have criticised Elon Musk for introducing the paid tier on Twitter, but it seems his experiment has demonstrated that consumers are willing to pay for an enhanced experience. In response, Meta and Twitter are now offering a subscription-based model to offer users an alternative to the existing advertising-based revenue model. The shift in strategy reflects the industry's response to changing consumer preferences and behaviours, with consumers becoming increasingly aware of how their data is being used for advertising purposes.

Source: BBC

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