Updated Feb 19, 2023 - Technology

Meta to test out monthly paid verification subscription service

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The Meta logo marks the entrance of their corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced on Sunday that it will be testing out a monthly subscription service that allows users to verify their accounts.

Why it matters: The move is aimed at "increasing authenticity and security across our services," Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the news.

State of play: Called Meta Verified, the subscription service will be rolled out this week in Australia and New Zealand, with other countries soon to follow, Zuckerberg wrote.

  • It will allow users to verify their accounts using a government ID. In return, users will gain a verified blue badge, direct access to customer support and "extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you," according to Zuckerberg.
  • Meta Verified will be priced at $11.99 a month for web users and $14.99 a month on iOS.

The big picture: Meta's rollout of a paid subscription service follows Twitter's decision last year to launch its own version, Twitter Blue.

  • Twitter's rollout was temporarily paused in November after a spate of newly verified checkmark users embarked on fraudulent pranks.
  • Twitter relaunched the service in December. As of early February, Twitter Blue has 290,000 global subscribers, per The Information.
  • Snapchat launched Snapchat+ last year for $3.99 monthly. It currently has more than 2 million paid subscribers.

Our thought bubble, from Axios' Sara Fischer: Meta Verified is the latest effort by Meta to experiment with a new business strategy as its advertising growth slows.

  • Meta has experimented with everything from games to introducing more TikTok-like features and feeds.
  • Its biggest business bet to date has been investments in the Metaverse with virtual and augmented reality technologies, but the tech giant has admitted that it needs to continue to invest heavily in its social media revenue while the Metaverse slowly tries to gain consumer adoption.
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