Facebook, Instagram to Get Paid Verification

    Facebook, Instagram to Get Paid Verification
    Last updated Feb 20, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via The Guardian]


    • On Sunday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook and Instagram users in Australia and New Zealand would soon be required to pay for the verified blue badge.
    • Meta's premium subscription service starts at $11.99 per month on the Web and $14.99 per month on iOS and Android.
    • Classified as "Meta Verified," the paid service lets users verify their accounts with a government ID and offers extra impersonation protection. Meta Verified will only be available to users over the age of 18 with prior posting history, not businesses.
    • Once their profile is verified, users can only change the profile name, username, date of birth, or photo after going through the Meta Verified subscription and verifications application process again.
    • "Meta Verified" accounts will also have increased visibility on the platform as well as prioritized customer support, among other benefits. The increased post visibility will "depend on a subscriber’s existing audience size and the topic of their posts," and smaller accounts may see a greater impact.
    • This comes after Twitter said it would allow only paid subscribers to use two-factor SMS authentication to secure their accounts. Twitter Blue's monthly subscription costs $11.


    Establishment-critical narrative

    Though for years Facebook claimed all its services were "free and always will be," the value of users' personal data meant the site was never truly free. Unfortunately, the launch of Meta Verified is a tone-deaf move reinforcing tech greed. By forcing users to pay for services that were expected to be a default offering — such as protection from impersonation — the paid service looks more like a marketing pitch than of actual value to creators.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Meta's new offering is fundamentally about increasing authenticity and security by cutting down on trolls, impersonations, and fraud. Though it will undoubtedly also help the social media platform diversify its revenue stream and reduce its reliance on advertising, Meta Verified further benefits users by adding premium value to their account; at $11.99 or $14.99 a month, it's a bargain for the content.

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