Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, just announced on his Instagram channel that the company’s paid verification program, Meta Verified, is now available in the United States.
How it works. The program is designed to provide users with a blue verification badge on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as “proactive impersonation protection” and direct access to customer support. Meta Verified costs $12 per month if accessed via the web, and $15 per month if accessed through iOS or Android to account for those platforms’ cuts of in-app payments. In addition, subscribers will receive stars that can be used to tip Facebook creators, as well as extra stickers for Stories and Reels.
Initial testing. Meta initially launched the program in Australia and New Zealand last month. Verified differs from Twitter Blue, a similar program that allows users to pay for a blue checkmark and other perks, as Meta Verified requires users to provide a piece of government ID that matches the name and photo on their account.
Once a user is verified, they cannot change their profile name or photo, username, or date of birth without going through the verification process again. Accounts that were previously verified on Instagram or Facebook will keep their blue checkmark.
What Meta says. The launch of Meta Verified is part of Meta’s effort to enhance security and transparency on its platforms. By providing users with a blue verification badge and proactive impersonation protection, Meta aims to reduce the number of fake accounts and impersonations that occur on Facebook and Instagram.
Sure, Meta could be rolling out this program to enhance security. Another reason could be to generate additional or diversify their revenue streams. They did, after all, blame weak ad demand for their recent decrease in revenue, an area that makes up 97% of their overall revenue.
For reference. Not sure if the $12-$15 a month is worth it? Here are other monthly subscription services you can get for $15 a month or less:
- YouTube: Free (with ads), or $11.99/month for YouTube Premium (ad-free, includes YouTube Music Premium)
- Spotify: Free (with ads), or $9.99/month for Spotify Premium (ad-free, unlimited skips, offline listening)
- Pandora: Free (with ads), or $4.99/month for Pandora Plus (ad-free, unlimited skips, offline listening)
- Apple Music: $9.99/month for an individual subscription (ad-free, unlimited skips, offline listening)
- Amazon Music: $7.99/month for Prime members (ad-free, unlimited skips, offline listening), or $9.99/month for non-Prime members
- Hulu: $5.99/month for the basic plan (with ads), or $11.99/month for the ad-free plan
- Disney+: $7.99/month or $79.99/year
- Netflix: $8.99/month for the basic plan (SD, one screen at a time), $13.99/month for the standard plan (HD, two screens at a time), or $17.99/month for the premium plan (Ultra HD, four screens at a time)
- HBO Max: $14.99/month
Why we care. The new verification could help to improve the quality and authenticity of the platform’s user base. By requiring government ID verification, Meta may be able to ensure that users are who they say they are and reduce the incidence of fake accounts and bots on its platforms. This could result in a more engaged and authentic user base, which could in turn lead to more effective advertising.