Facebook and Instagram are currently testing Meta Verified, a subscription service that is reminiscent of Twitter Blue, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg announced on Sunday.
“This week we’re beginning to roll out Meta Verified — subscription service that allows you to verify your account… This new feature is about increasing authenticity across our services,” Meta’s CEO stated via his newly launched Instagram broadcast, “Meta Channel”, accessible on mobile devices.
According to Meta’s press release, the new product will cost $11.99 per month for the web and $14.99 per month for the Android and iOS apps.
The release stated that Meta Verified will be made available to users in Australia later this week.
Meta Verified has multiple strings. Users must be at minimum 18 years of age and have a government ID that matches their profile name and the photo on their Instagram or Facebook accounts. A minimum activity requirement, such as posting history, must be met by accounts.
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Meta could have learned from Twitter’s mistakes. Meta’s subscription service offers “proactive monitoring to identify impersonators.” NPR explained that Twitter’s subscription service was initially flooded by posts from fake accounts that impersonated Musk and other prominent figures.
Meta Verified users will have access to their profile name, username and date of birth. They can also lock in the photo they selected during verification. Engadget stated that users who wish to change their profile photos would need to repeat the verification process.
Meta Verified is not available to businesses.
Meta could have been thinking about the paid service for some time. Mark Zuckerberg suggested that there might be a paid Facebook version in 2018 during congressional testimony before a joint hearing between the Commerce and Judiciary committees of the U.S. Senate.
Zuckerberg stated that “Yes, there will always exist a Facebook version that is free,” at the time.
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, a social media rival, took no time to poke fun at Meta’s attempt to make some money. Last December, Musk launched a paid service similar to Twitter Blue. He responded with a laughing face emoticon to a meme showing Mr. Bean as Zuckerberg copying Musk’s paper.