You can now pay to be verified on Instagram and Facebook. The move follows many social networks, such as Twitter, which offer subscription plans.
Following its success in Australia, New Zealand and the US, the new Meta verification will begin its rollout in the UK in the coming weeks. Discover everything you need to know about the changes below.
Meta launched the new verification system, Meta Verified, for Instagram and Facebook in Australia and New Zealand in February this year. In March, they released the subscription plan in the USA and the UK, and the rest of Europe will shortly follow suit.
Tech Crunch reports that verified accounts receive a blue badge on their profile to confirm their identity. In the US, it costs $11.99 for verification and $14.99 if you subscribe on smartphones or mobile devices.
The service includes “proactive impersonation protection” and direct access to customer support. Subscribers also get access to Facebook reels, exclusive story stickers and 100 stars monthly to support content creators.
Users must be 18 to subscribe, already have two-step verification on their account and must send proof of a government-issued ID. Once subscribed, users can’t change their username, photo or date of birth without verification.
Meta Verified will launch in the UK in the coming weeks – it costs £9.99 for desktops and £11.99 for mobiles. Users must register their interest to subscribe and will receive a notification when the service is ready to use.
Following Social Media Trends
Meta follows a long line of social media networks that offer monthly subscription plans. Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and Telegram all offer user verification. However, Meta hopes to avoid the Twitter Blue catastrophe by asking users to provide ID.
Tech Target reports that verified accounts are beneficial because they prevent impersonators and make members more trustworthy. They can increase traffic because they show up higher on search results, helping creators and influencers to extend their reach.
However, verification subscriptions are also a commodity. In the case of Meta Verified, users must subscribe separately for an Instagram and Facebook account.
Some people believe charging a subscription is unfair to users who can’t afford it and that members already pay for the service with their data.
Meta’s Financial Struggles
Meta Verified seems like a natural progression for the social network giant, but it also comes at a time of financial struggle for the company. Last year, it let go of 11,000 staff, around 13 percent of its employees, because of poor revenue, as reported in The Guardian.
According to the BBC, Meta predicted growth during the pandemic, but ad sales unpredictably slumped post-pandemic.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta founder and CEO, said a “macroeconomic downturn” and “increased competition” caused revenue to be much lower than expected. “I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,”
In March this year, Silicone UK reported that Meta announced a further 10,000 job losses and that they would withdraw all current job vacancies. Meta blamed drops in profits and decline in revenue for the cuts, and a spokesperson for the company says that “2023 will be a year of efficiency”.