According to a new announcement by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Meta intends to launch a new blue badge for verified accounts on Facebook and Instagram this week. The service, which sounds a lot like Twitter’s Blue service, will cost $11.99 per month for web users and $14.99 per month for iOS users. Maybe it is because Facebook is trying to price Apple’s $3 cut on subscriptions.
“This week we’re starting to roll out Meta Verified — a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” Zuckerberg writes. “This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services.” Meta is making it more difficult for fake accounts, which can help reduce the spread of misinformation and harmful content on the platforms.
“We’ll be rolling out in Australia and New Zealand this week and more countries soon,” Zuckerberg wrote, although he did not specify when the service would be available in other nations, including the United States.
In addition, those who sign up for the service will receive exclusive stickers for Stories and Reels, also 100 free stars each month, which can be used to tip Facebook creators. According to Meta, businesses cannot yet apply for a Meta Verified badge, and you can change your profile picture, username, birthday, or name without the verification process again.
Meta writes in a blog post, “Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that’s valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses, and our community at large”. They also wrote that “As part of this vision, we are evolving the meaning of the verified badge so we can expand access to verification and more people can trust the accounts they interact with are authentic.”
Since CEO Elon Musk took over in October, Twitter has adopted a baffling array of distinct colors for its checkmark system, which costs $8 on the web and $11 on iOS. However, it appears that Zuckerberg has only one color in mind: blue. Due to his red-green color blindness, the CEO of Meta previously stated that blue is his preferred color.
One potential criticism of Meta’s paid verification service is that it could create a two-tiered system on Facebook and Instagram, where verified users approach additional features and benefits that non-verified users do not. It could lead to feelings of exclusivity and unfairness among non-verified users, which could ultimately harm their engagement and use of the platforms.
Additionally, the service’s cost may be prohibitive for some users, particularly those who can not afford the monthly subscription fee. It could create a situation where only a select group of users, who are willing and able to pay for the service, can access its benefits, which could further exacerbate existing inequalities on the platforms.
There is also a risk that the service may be exploited by bad actors who may attempt to submit fraudulent government IDs to gain access to the benefits of a verified account. While Meta has stated that it will provide additional safeguards against fake accounts, it remains to show how effective these measures will be in practice.