Facebook parent Meta has launched a subscription service called Meta Verified that allows users to add the coveted blue checkmark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for up to $15 a month by verifying their identity, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Sunday. , tapping into a new revenue channel that has met with mixed success for its smaller rival Twitter.
The subscription service, first rolling out this week in New Zealand and Australia, costs $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 on Apple’s iOS. (The company hasn’t said when it plans to make the service available for purchase through its Android apps.) Meta allows users to verify their identity using their government-issued ID card. The company said the subscription service will also provide “greater visibility and reach,” enhanced protection against impersonation attacks and direct access to customer support.
Meta Verified “is about increasing the authenticity and security of our services,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. The subscription service will soon be expanded to “more countries,” he said, without specifying the timeline. We’ve asked Meta some additional questions and will update the story when we hear back.
Meta’s revenue, which has opted not to charge its customers for most of its services in more than a decade and a half since its inception, has taken a hit in recent years following Apple’s decision to implement strict privacy changes. on iOS that compromises social firms’ ability to track users’ Internet activities. The Zuckerberg-led company, which makes almost all of its money from advertising, said last year that Apple’s move would cost the company more than $10 billion in lost ad revenue by 2022. Subscription services are becoming increasingly popular among social media companies.
Sunday’s announcement follows social platform Snap which launched its own subscription service last year, turning more than one million users into paid customers, as well as Elon Musk revamping Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, to launch a new subscription service. range of additional features, including the blue check mark. In recent months, Twitter has expanded Twitter Blue to more than a dozen markets, including India and Indonesia. By mid-January, only about 180,000 accounts had signed up for Twitter Blue, according to The Information.
Musk, a vocal critic of Facebook services, is betting on turning Twitter Blue into a major source of revenue for Twitter, which he acquired for $44 billion last year.
The blue tick has long been one of the coveted features on social media platforms. Previously, it was reserved for public figures such as legislators, actors, musicians, athletes and journalists.
Musk has criticized the idea, arguing that the feature should be accessible to everyone. Those who hit the blue tick outside of the Twitter Blue subscription will eventually lose it, he has previously stated. Zuckerberg didn’t say whether Meta plans to recreate its entire verified library, nor did he mention whether the subscription service will expand to businesses.
Meta, whose shares have rallied in recent weeks, is also reeling from a harsh market reaction to its grand metaverse vision. The company, which has laid off some 11,000 employees in the past two months, has pledged to cut spending on its metaverse aspirations. It is reportedly planning another round of layoffs soon.
“The thing about religion is that it requires a leap of faith. Believe in something that you may never be able to prove conclusively. And there will be times when that belief will be tested, times when you will question everything you previously accepted as fact. Dramas aside, 2022 has been a challenging year for believers in the House of Zuck, with many pushed to their limits or throwing in the towel, culminating in the capitulation we saw last quarter,” Bernstein analysts wrote this week. month in a note.
“But it seems that Meta has found their own religion in terms of efficiency/profitability and investors are now finding a leaner, sharper company for them.”