Ready to start paying for Facebook and Instagram? Because that time is upon us.
Last month Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram and Facebook would introduce a monthly subscription fee, with trials taking place in Australia and New Zealand. Following its success, the verification service is now being rolled out in the US – although those hoping to sign up will have to join a waitlist.
• Check out the best cameras for Instagram to up your Meta game
Meta Verified is designed to make Instagram and Facebook safer for individuals, improve the reach of business accounts and give users better access to customer support if their account is locked.
As things stand, it’s extremely difficult (some might say impossible) to talk to a real human being when an account is compromised. And while this feature is advantageous, shouldn’t it be included anyway? Meta is a multi-billion-dollar company, after all, with 239.65 million Facebook users and 230.25 million Instagram users.
To become Meta Verified you will need to upload a government-issued ID photo and turn on two-factor authentication. Once verified, you will be unable to change your name, photo, username or date of birth unless you complete the verification process again.
Another advantage to Meta Verified, other than being able to brag about the blue tick on your profile, is that verified users will have access to exclusive stickers that can be used on Stories and Reels. Verified members will also receive 100 Stars (the Facebook streaming currency) per month, which can be used to show support for other creators.
Since Facebook launched in 2004, aside from businesses paying for advertising, it’s been a free service. However, like so many businesses, Meta has felt the pinch of high inflation and rising interest rates. Last year Zuckerberg made the difficult decision to lay off 11,000 employees (equivalent to 13% of the staff), marking the biggest job cut in the company's history.
It’s unclear exactly how successful the Meta Verified trial was in New Zealand and Australia, but the fact that it’s being rolled out in the US is a good sign. Introducing it might just be another desperate attempt to find another revenue stream but, if it works in favor of creators, perhaps it’s not so bad.
Plans start at $11.99 / AU$19.99 (no UK rollout has yet been made public) for the desktop version or $14.99 / AU$24.99 a month for the mobile and web version. It certainly isn’t a cheap service but, if it increases engagement and businesses notice a boost in sales, it might be worth the additional monthly cost.
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