Following Twitter’s footsteps, Meta has now introduced a paid verification service, starting at US$11 a month. Meta’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the service in a Facebook post on Sunday. It will first roll out in Australia and New Zealand later this week.
On most social media platforms, ‘high-profile’ accounts, like celebrities and brands have badges – or “blue ticks” – to verify their authenticity.
In addition to a blue badge, the service would offer improved reach among other features. On his Meta-channel on Instagram, Zuckerberg said that the new feature is to ensure increased authenticity and security across their services.
To avoid impersonation of people and brands, Meta said in a blog post that it would rely on government ID documents to prove the identity of verified accounts. When Twitter initially rolled out its paid verification service, there was a flood of accounts impersonating big brands and people. The company then briefly paused the service after big brands started pulling advertisements from the site.
Accounts eligible for this service must have a posting history and users must be at least 18 years old. Meta said that businesses will not be able to avail of the service at this stage. The increased visibility of posts from verified users would “depend on a subscriber’s existing audience size and the topic of their posts”, the company said.
According to BBC, this new service will not affect already verified accounts. Meta Verified is aimed at influencers and others who use social media for their business but are not notable public figures. Through this bundle, the company wants to make it easier for small creators to establish a presence on their platforms so they can “focus on building their communities”.
Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted in response to the news saying it was “inevitable” Meta would follow Twitter. Many criticised Musk for introducing the Twitter Blue subscription program, but it looks like his peers are now following suit.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2023
In November 2022, Meta cut down 11,000 staff amid falling ad revenue and an economic downturn. At the time, Zuckerberg said he had predicted an increase in Meta’s growth based on the rise it had over the pandemic, but that ultimately did not happen. The tech industry is suffering terribly from uncertain economic conditions, with big cutdowns and layoffs. Tech stocks fell more than 30% in 2022, more than the overall market drop of 20%.