On Friday, Meta officially began rolling out its paid verification service for Facebook and Instagram that grants paid subscribers a badge and identity monitoring functions.
This released service comes after early testing in Australia and New Zealand, reported The Hill. The service costs $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 a month on iOS and Android.
The company will not charge existing verified accounts, but new ones will have to pay the monthly subscription fee in order to secure the badge.
Meta announced the initiative last month:
Meta announces rollout of paid subscription verification service, called "Meta Verified." pic.twitter.com/xj1T5ogmqj
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 20, 2023
Around the same time, Meta had just cut thousands of workers from the company, while also jacking up expenditures for the personal security of chief executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg from $4 million to $14 million.
Speaking on a broadcast he recorded when first announcing the service, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed the new feature “is about increasing authenticity and security across our services.”
“Meta Verified is rolling out in the US today,” Zuckerberg said on Friday in the Meta Channel on Instagram, according to TechCrunch. “You can get a badge, proactive impersonation protection, and direct access to customer support.”
According to The Hill, Meta Verified has granted users in Australia and New Zealand further reach and better visibility in the search, comments, and recommendations categories, allowing smaller creators more opportunity to be spotted by potential soon-to-be fans. The company is now halting the function after getting feedback that it was convoluted and will thus “further explore its value.”
Twitter also has a paid subscription service, with its first rollout having begun in October, shortly after the company was purchased by Elon Musk. Twitter Blue has been updated and modified several times before its official release, with the current version giving users a blue ‘verification checkmark’, an ‘edit button’ for posts, and the ability to upload longer videos. It is cheaper than Meta’s plan, costing a considerably lower $11 per month on iOS.
CNN Business reported that this new initiative by Meta brings the chance of a different revenue stream from advertising, adding that it is “at a time when its core ad sales business is under pressure from a number of factors, including privacy changes on Apple and tightening budgets amid recession fears.”