Meta announces subscription service for Instagram and Facebook verification

Following in Twitter’s footsteps, Meta has announced the testing of a new monthly subscription service for Instagram and Facebook verification. According to a news release, ‘Meta Verified’ includes ‘a verified badge that authenticates your account with government ID, proactive account protection, access to account support, and increased visibility and reach’.

Meta is starting to test this service in Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of bringing it to the rest of the world in the future. Current pricing starts at $11.99 (£9.97) a month for web use or $14.99 (£12.47) a month for iOS or Android use, which can be purchased on Instagram or Facebook.

This comes after Twitter’s launch of a paid verification service ‘Twitter Blue’ revealed in November 2022. Elon Musk introduced the monthly fee for verified accounts but had to relaunch the service in December 2022, after difficulties with users impersonating celebrities and companies.

However, unlike Twitter, accounts under Instagram and Facebook who have previously been verified with past requirements, such as authenticity and notability, will receive no changes according to Meta whilst it ‘tests and learns’.

To be eligible for the service, users must be at least 18 years old and ‘meet minimum activity requirements, such as prior posting history’. They then need to submit accepted government ID which will match the name and photo of their account. The service currently is not available to businesses.

Overall, Meta’s vision is to evolve the meaning of the badge so more people can trust that the accounts they interact with are authentic.

This also comes as Twitter announces that from the 20th March 2023, only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to use text-message authentication as an extra layer of security to their online accounts. This could cause concern for some users, but Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter’s authenticator app would remain free and was more secure than using SMS. Musk claimed that Twitter had been scammed more than $60m a year from fake two factor authentication SMS messages.

Anyone who currently uses this method, who is not part of Twitter Blue, will receive an alert to remove the method before the deadline so as not to risk losing their account. This has provided concern from security experts who believe auto-unenrolling users will open them up to risks. Even if there are better ways to protect their account, at least having one type of security method is better than none at all.

It appears that a monthly fee is becoming the way for social media platforms to create more revenue after some tough times at both Meta and Twitter. However, they need to be careful not to dissatisfy users with all these recent changes and put them off using the platforms altogether.

Want to keep up to date with the latest social media news? Why not check out Escapade’s blog posts on The Trouble at TikTok and The Biggest 2023 Social Media Trends You Need to Know.