Meta Verified Subscriptions Coming for Facebook, Instagram

Meta Platforms is introducing a subscription bundle called Meta Verified that allows Facebook and Instagram users to authenticate their online identities. “We want to make it easier for people, especially creators, to establish a presence so they can focus on building their communities,” the company said in introducing the feature, which costs $11.99 a month for PC and Android users and $14.99 per month on Apple devices. “We’re starting with a gradual test in Australia and New Zealand later this week to learn what’s most valuable,” with the rest of the world to follow, Meta said. The news follows a similar move by Twitter with its subscription features.

“The service will be expanded to the United States in the next few weeks, a Meta spokeswoman said,” The New York Times reports. Separate verification enrollment is required for Facebook and Instagram, “meaning that those who want blue badges on both sites must pay at least $24 a month,” at least initially, since Meta says it will eventually offer a bundled plan.

Those who already have verified accounts on either platform will be able to retain them at no charge, “as we test and learn,” Meta said in an announcement that goes on to share a long-term plan of “a subscription offering that’s valuable to everyone.”

“Meta has historically granted verification to notable users like politicians, executives, members of the press and organizations to signal their legitimacy,” writes CNBC. Users must be 18 or older to and submit a government ID to be eligible for Meta Verified. Other factors include prior posting history.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature on Facebook and Instagram posts Sunday.

Among the “top requests we get from creators are for broader access to verification and account support, in addition to more features to increase visibility and reach,” the announcement says, adding that subscribers will receive boosts fostering “prominence in some areas of the platform — like search, comments and recommendations.”

After an October announcement, Twitter in December introduced paid verification as part of an $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription.

While some media reports suggest Meta is copying Twitter, the blue bird hasn’t said whether those who subscribe receive algorithmically heightened visibility. Twitter did announce that it is disabling two-factor authentication for free accounts, per NYT . Meanwhile, Engadget reports Twitter CEO Elon Musk says “Blue subscribers will receive a cut of revenue from ads that appear in their reply threads.”

Meta Verified Shows a Company Running Out of Ideas, Wired, 2/21/23

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