Meta announces paid subscription service for Facebook and Instagram
The move is about "increasing authenticity and security across our services".
Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new paid subscription service for Facebook and Instagram, granting users a blue check for a monthly fee.
The Meta CEO revealed on Sunday that Meta Verified will cost $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 on iOS and will launch in Australia and New Zealand this week ahead of a wider rollout.
Zuckerberg said the subscription lets users verify their account with a government ID and will give them a blue badge along with extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be them and direct access to customer support.
He said the move is about "increasing authenticity and security across our services."
The Facebook founder said providing direct access to customer support will cost the company "a significant amount of money" and that this will be offset by subscription revenue.
The move follows Elon Musk launching a revamped version of Twitter's own blue tick verification service, Twitter Blue.
It allows users to get a verified profile and other benefits.
Musk introduced Twitter Blue soon after acquiring the social media platform for $44 billion last year. At the time, he said Twitter had seen a "massive drop" in revenue, something Meta is also currently facing.
Shares of the company's stock dropped about 54% since its September 2021 high.
Meta released its third consecutive quarter of revenue declines this month and laid off 11,000 employees — 13% of its workforce — in November to become "a leaner and more efficient company," Zuckerberg said, according to a report by ABC.
New subscribers to Meta Verified won't be able to change any of their profile details, such as their picture, name and username "without going through the Meta Verified subscription and verifications application process again".
Meta also stated that there will be "no changes to accounts on Instagram and Facebook that are already verified based on prior requirements, including authenticity and notability."