Facebook and Instagram owner Meta will launch a paid subscription service starting at $11.99 a month allowing users to verify their accounts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Sunday, following a similar move by Elon Musk at Twitter.
Meta Verified, which will roll out first in Australia and New Zealand this week, will let users verify an “account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” Zuckerberg said.
“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” he wrote in a statement posted to his Facebook account.
There would be no changes to accounts on Facebook and Instagram that are already verified, the company said, adding that only users who are over the age of 18 will be allowed to subscribe. The service is not yet available to businesses.
It was not immediately clear how Zuckerberg planned to price Meta Verified in countries where users cannot afford to pay $12 a month, or in cash-based economies where they may have fewer ways to get the money to Meta.
Musk’s initial attempts to launch a similar service at rival social media network Twitter last year backfired wildly with an embarrassing spate of fake accounts that scared advertisers and cast doubt on the site’s future.
He was forced to briefly suspend the effort before relaunching it to muted reception in December.
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