On Sunday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on social media that Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, will introduce a subscription service. The service will offer verification badges to paying customers.
This comes after a comparable program was launched at Twitter by new owner Elon Musk.
Zuckerberg announced on both Facebook and Instagram that Meta Verified will be launched in Australia and New Zealand this week, with additional countries to follow soon.
The program is priced at $11.99 per month for web use and $14.99 per month for iOS products.
Users can authenticate their accounts with a government-issued ID and receive a blue badge, which the company presently provides free of charge to notable individuals.
According to Zuckerberg, the subscription service will provide users with additional protection against fake accounts and direct access to customer service.
Zuckerberg stated that this new addition is aimed at improving the authenticity and security of their services.
Last year, Twitter was acquired by Elon Musk for $44 billion. The feature is priced at $8 per month for web use and $11 per month for iOS and Android. Subscribers receive a verified checkmark and other benefits, such as longer tweets. Musk has stated that individuals who were previously verified on the social media platform will lose their verification status unless they subscribe to Twitter Blue in the coming months. According to reports from The Information earlier this month, the program has not been a significant revenue generator for Twitter, with only 180,000 U.S. subscribers after two months of launch. It is believed that the feature has approximately 290,000 subscribers worldwide. Additionally, the service has caused problems for Twitter staff, as the initial rollout resulted in a flood of impersonator accounts.
Meta experienced a challenging 2022, with a decrease in overall ad spending causing a decline in revenue. Additionally, the company’s move towards augmented reality and “metaverse” technology has been costly, and it has faced stiff competition from TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance. To make matters worse, in November, the company laid off approximately 11,000 employees and enforced a hiring freeze.