According to Mark Zuckerberg, “Meta Verified starts at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 per month on iOS.”
San Francisco: Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, will introduce a premium subscription service with a starting price of $11.99 per month that will allow users to verify their accounts. Elon Musk at Twitter recently made a similar move.
Users will be able to verify an “account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts pretending to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” according to Zuckerberg. Meta Verified will launch this week, starting in Australia and New Zealand.
“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” he wrote in a statement posted to his Facebook account.
The company also stated that verified Facebook and Instagram profiles would stay unchanged and that only persons over the age of 18 will be able to enroll. Companies cannot currently utilize the service.
Zuckerberg’s price plans for Meta Verified were not immediately clear in countries where customers could not afford to pay $12 a month or in cash-based economies where users may have fewer options for sending money to Meta.
Musk’s first attempts to launch a similar service on rival social media network Twitter last year backfired spectacularly, resulting in an embarrassing slew of fake accounts that scared advertisers and cast doubt on the site’s future.
He was forced to temporarily halt the effort before resuming it to a lukewarm reception in December.
Facebook aided in the establishment of the dominant model of large platforms on the internet today, in which users benefit from “free” services that collect and sell their personal data to advertisers.
It is a model that has earned the company, as well as other advertising behemoths like Google, tens of billions of dollars per year over the last two decades.
For years, Facebook’s homepage boasted that the site was “free and always will be.”
However, the company quietly dropped the slogan in 2019. Experts speculated at the time that it was because the value of users’ personal data meant the site was never truly “free.”
Meta’s ad revenue fell in 2022 for the first time since the California-based company went public in 2012.
The company recently announced that Facebook’s daily users have surpassed two billion for the first time – but with inflation eating into advertisers’ budgets and fierce competition from apps like TikTok, those users are not bringing in as much revenue as they used to.
The company has also suffered as a result of regulatory changes implemented by iPhone maker Apple, which limit social networks’ ability to collect data and sell advertising.
Similar factors have already prompted other networks, including Reddit, Snapchat, and, of course, Twitter, to launch paid plans.
Meta is also under fire for betting big on the metaverse, the virtual reality world that Zuckerberg believes will be the next frontier online.
Investors punished Meta last year, sending the company’s share price down by an astounding two-thirds in a year, but the stock has recovered some of the ground in 2023.
Meta announced in November that it would lay off 11,000 employees, or 13% of its workforce, the largest layoff in the company’s history.
The layoffs are part of a recent wave of redundancies announced by Silicon Valley titans as the once unrivaled sector faces economic gloom.
Because of commissions taken by Apple on the iPhone and Google on smartphones running its Android system, Meta Verified will be cheaper on the web than on mobile applications.
According to Zuckerberg, it will cost $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month on iOS or Android.
(With the exception of the headline, this story was not edited by 90Bars staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)