Facebook and Instagram are rolling out a pilot test program for the social media platforms called Meta Verified. It is in the same vein as the much-maligned Twitter Blue unveiled by Elon Musk after his purchase of the company late last year.
Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday announced the rollout of the “subscription service that lets you verify your account.” He touted the paid level as a feature promoting “increased authenticity and security across our services.”
Subscribers pay $11.99 per month online or $14.99 per month for iOS and Android apps for a wide range of services not available to users of the free platform.
Among the perks are a badge, impersonation protection, access to an actual human being for help with account issues, increased visibility and reach, and unspecified “exclusive features” to allow users to present themselves in “unique ways.”
— Mary (@matjendav4) February 21, 2023
Subscribers to the new Meta service must be at least 18 years old, reach minimum account activity stipulations, and provide a government ID identical to their profile name and photo.
Unlike Twitter’s intention to remove badges that came from verification before Twitter Blue’s launch, a Meta spokesperson said the company will not enact changes to accounts previously verified.
Meta Verified is not available for businesses, and users will not be able to alter their personal details without resubmitting the application.
Twitter was inundated with postings from fake accounts impersonating prominent figures when it first launched its subscription service. Meta, with its countermeasures against account impersonation, seems to have learned from its competitor’s missteps.
Zuckerberg apparently contemplated such a move for some time, even though it comes on the heels of Twitter’s new launch late last year. The CEO told Congress back in 2018 that the possibility of a paid version of Facebook was on the horizon.
At the time, he told lawmakers that a free version of the social media platform will always be available.
It will be interesting to note the mainstream media’s reaction to Meta Verified. Musk’s rollout of Twitter Blue was met with much consternation and wringing of hands, though most of that likely stemmed from the media’s horror that he was allowing the true spread of free speech.