Meta will launch premium subscriptions on Facebook and Instagram

Meta Verified will allow Facebook and Instagram users to pay to verify their accounts. Meta is piloting a new subscription service called Meta Verified, allowing Facebook and Instagram users to pay to confirm their reports.

According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, testing will begin this week in New Zealand and Australia and will soon be expanded to additional nations.

Meta will utilise a government identity to validate a user's account and award it a blue badge for $11.99 monthly on the web or $14.99 monthly for Apple and Android operating systems.

Formerly, Meta's blue badges were free and only available to prominent public people or corporations.

"This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services," Zuckerberg said in a statement published on Facebook and Instagram Sunday. 

Meta Verified will be introduced in the United States and other nations following Australia and New Zealand.

Subscribers will receive a badge showing that their account has been validated with a government ID and additional security against impersonation, direct access to customer service, and increased visibility, according to the firm.

It went on to say that the service will primarily be geared toward content providers wishing to grow their platform visibility and may change after a test period.

The firm claimed there would be no changes to verified profiles on Facebook and Instagram and that only individuals over 18 could subscribe. Businesses still need to be able to use the service.

It was unclear how Zuckerberg intended to price Meta Verified in nations where users could not afford to pay $12 per month or in cash-based economies where users may have fewer options for getting money to Meta.

Elon Musk's first attempts to create a comparable service on Twitter last year flopped, resulting in an embarrassing wave of false accounts that terrified advertisers and put doubt on the site's future. He was compelled to temporarily halt the endeavour before resuming it to a lukewarm welcome in December.

For years, the Facebook homepage has boldly stated that the service was "free and always will be".

Nevertheless, the corporation gradually dropped the phrase in 2019. Experts speculated at the time that the value of users' data meant the site was never truly free.

Meta's ad revenue fell in 2022 for the first time since the California-based company went public in 2012.

The business recently revealed that Facebook's daily users had reached two billion - but with inflation cutting into marketers' budgets and tough competition from applications like TikTok, those users are bringing in less cash than they used to.

The corporation has also suffered due to legislative restrictions implemented by iPhone manufacturer Apple, which limit social networks' capacity to collect data and sell advertising.

Similar considerations have prompted other networks, like Reddit, Snapchat, and Twitter, to adopt premium services.

Meta is also under fire for betting on the metaverse, the virtual reality world that Zuckerberg hopes will be the next online frontier.

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