Facebook and Instagram are introducing Meta Verified – a subscription-based service that includes a verified badge plus extra account protection, better access to support, and increased visibility. Not only will this move make it easier to identify authentic accounts, it should also make it harder to hack accounts and easier to recover them.
Since so many people now use Facebook and Instagram as their primary method of sharing photos, losing access to your account can also mean losing years' worth of memories. Once upon a time, hackers only seemed to target accounts with a high number of friends or followers – but recently it seems any account can be hacked and lost forever, which is especially bad news if you’re using it for business purposes.
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There are several steps that can be taken to ensure that your Facebook or Instagram account is secure, such as setting a strong word, using two-factor authentication, and making sure you log out of shared computers. If the worst happens, though, getting it recovered is nearly impossible.
With Meta Verified, you’ll be able to speak to a real, human person should you lose access to your account, who can provide help and guidance on common account issues as well as effectively find and flag imposter accounts.
To get the verified badge, users must provide a government-issued ID with a real name, date of birth, and photo. Other benefits include increased visibility, that will enable people who use a personal account for business (such as creatives) to be more easily seen and hopefully improve engagement. Users who subscribe to Meta Verified will also have access to a range of exclusive stickers, that can be used in stories or on posts to stand out.
With a monthly fee of $11.99 / AU$19.99 on desktop or $14.99 / AU$24.99 for iOS and Android, Meta Verified certainly isn’t cheap – and arguably a lot of its benefits should be accessible anyway. It shouldn’t be so difficult to talk to someone in customer services at the world’s largest social media company, and yet if you lose access to your account it’s extremely difficult to know who to contact.
Mark Zuckerberg's announcement on his Facebook page has already received over 83,000 comments. While some users seem to agree with Meta’s latest move, lots of people have pointed out that the features included should be free anyway – especially considering Meta is a $400 billion business.