Instagram and Facebook to get paid verification BBC

Instagram and Facebook to get paid verification

  • By Antoinette Radford
  • BBC News

February 19, 2023 at 4:38 p.m. GMT

Updated 27 minutes ago

Instagram and Facebook users can now pay for blue tick verification, parent company Meta has announced.

Meta Verified costs $11.99 (£9.96) per month on the web or $14.99 for iPhone users.

It will be available in Australia and New Zealand this week.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the move will improve the security and authenticity of the social media apps.

The move comes after Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, implemented a paid verification system in November 2022.

Meta’s paid subscription service is not yet available for businesses, but individuals can pay for verification.

Badges — or “blue ticks” — were used as verification tools for high-profile accounts to denote their authenticity.

The subscription would give paying users a blue badge, increased visibility of their posts, protection from impersonators, and easier access to customer service, Meta said in a post on its website.

The company told the BBC the change would not affect previously verified accounts, but noted that visibility would increase for some smaller users who get verified thanks to the paid feature.

Allowing paying users access to a blue tick has previously caused problems for other social media platforms.

Meta said Instagram and Facebook usernames must match a government-provided ID document to receive verification, and users must have a profile picture that includes their face.

Other sites like Reddit, YouTube, and Discord also use subscription-based models.

Meta hasn’t indicated when the feature will roll out in other countries, though Mr Zuckerberg said in a post it would be “soon”.

In November, the company announced it would cut 11,000 jobs as a result of overinvestment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the time, Mr. Zuckerberg said he predicted an increase in Meta’s growth due to the surge it had during the pandemic, but that ultimately didn’t happen.

“Many people predicted this would be a lasting acceleration,” he wrote, “so did I, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments.”

Instead, he said that “macroeconomic downturn” and “increasing competition” meant revenue came in much lower than expected.