Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has launched a new monthly subscription service, Meta Verified, which enables individuals to get a blue checkmark on Facebook and Instagram by verifying their identity. This will create a new revenue stream for the company and will be first launched in New Zealand and Australia, priced at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 on iOS, with Android availability yet to be announced.
Subscribers can verify their identity using their government-issued ID card and receive improved impersonation protection, direct customer support, and exclusive stickers for Stories and Reels. The Meta Verified subscription will also offer businesses direct access to customer support. Users must meet minimum activity requirements and be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the service. Meta Verified has already launched in Australia and New Zealand, with a roll-out to other countries expected soon. Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, noted that the goal of Meta Verified is to enhance authenticity and security across their platforms.
Elon Musk recently introduced Twitter Blue, which also offers a blue checkmark, as a part of Twitter’s subscription service. Musk has big hopes for the service to be a significant revenue driver for Twitter, which he acquired in 2021 for $44 billion, $13 billion of which he borrowed from banks. Musk needs to pay over $1 billion in interest payments each year. Twitter Blue has been expanded to over a dozen markets, including India and Indonesia. Twitter’s blue checkmark was previously reserved for public figures, but Musk argued that it should be available to all. In contrast, Meta Verified requires users to submit government-issued ID for verification.
Meta is also reportedly planning to reduce its spending on metaverse ambitions and is preparing for another round of layoffs. However, its shares have rebounded in recent weeks, and the company is now focused on efficiency and profitability. Meta is also expanding its digital currency for tipping creators, offering 100 free stars per month to subscribers.
The subscription service will cost $19.99 AUD on the web and $24.99 AUD on mobile, or $23.99 NZD on web and $29.99 NZD on mobile in Australia and New Zealand. The higher cost on iOS and Android aims to offset the commission Apple and Google take on in-app purchases. While the service is similar to Twitter Blue, Meta Verified will not make changes to accounts that have been verified using the previous requirements. Businesses cannot yet 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.