Social media giant Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that it is testing a new paid feature that will allow users to purchase a blue verification badge for their Facebook and Instagram profiles. The feature, called “Meta Verified,” is being tested in Australia and New Zealand for $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month on iOS. According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the subscription service will grant users a verified badge, increased visibility on the platforms, prioritized customer support, and more.
To become Meta Verified, users will need to meet minimum activity requirements, be at least 18 years of age or older, and submit a government ID that matches the name and photo they have on Facebook or Instagram. The feature is aimed at increasing authenticity and security across the platforms and providing additional protection against impersonation accounts claiming to be the user.
Users who sign up for the service will also receive exclusive stickers for Stories and Reels and 100 free stars per month, which can be used to tip creators on Facebook. However, businesses are not yet able to apply for a Meta Verified badge, and users cannot change their profile name, username, birthday, or profile photo without going through the verification process all over again.
The higher cost of the service on iOS and Android is likely a way to offset the commission that Apple and Google take on in-app purchases. While Meta’s new checkmark subscription appears to have similarities with Twitter Blue, which was launched by Elon Musk a few months ago, Meta’s service requires users to submit government IDs, like the old Twitter verification process and supposedly offers additional safeguards against fake accounts.
The service has already sparked concerns about the potential for an increase in fake verified accounts, similar to what happened on Twitter last year. It remains to be seen whether Meta Verified will be embraced by users, but the company hopes that it will provide increased authenticity and security on its platforms.