Picture credits: Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images
Facebook parent Meta has launched a monthly subscription service, called Meta Verified, which will allow an individual to earn the coveted blue tick on Instagram and Facebook by verifying their identity, leveraging a new revenue channel that has had mixed success for its smaller rival. Twitter.
The subscription service, rolling out for the first time in New Zealand and Australia starting this week, is priced at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 on Apple’s iOS. (The company didn’t say when it plans to make the service available for purchase through its Android apps.) Meta Verified will allow a user to verify their identity using their government-issued ID card. The subscription service will also offer enhanced identity theft protection and direct access to customer support, Meta said.
Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that Meta Verified “aims to increase the authenticity and security of our services.” He said Meta Verified would soon be launched in “more countries”, but did not elaborate. We asked Meta a few more questions and will update the story when we get back to you.
Sunday’s announcement comes months after Elon Musk revamped Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, to offer a range of additional features, including the blue tick. Twitter has expanded Twitter Blue to more than a dozen markets in recent months, including India and Indonesia.
Musk is betting on turning the subscription service into a major revenue stream for Twitter, which he acquired last year for $44 billion, including $13 billion borrowed from banks. Musk has to pay more than $1 billion a year in interest payments.
The blue tick has long been one of the most coveted features on social media platforms. Previously, it was reserved for public figures such as lawmakers, actors, musicians, sportsmen and journalists. Musk lambasted the idea, arguing that the feature should be open to everyone. He said those who have reached the blue tick outside of the Twitter Blue subscription will eventually lose it. Zuckerberg didn’t say if Meta plans to redo its entire verified library, and he didn’t mention if the subscription service will be extended to enterprises.
Meta, whose shares have rebounded in recent weeks, is also reeling from a harsh market response to its view of the great metaverse. The company, which has laid off about 11,000 employees in the past two months, has pledged to cut spending on Metaverse ambitions. He is reportedly planning another round of layoffs soon.
“The problem with religion is that it requires a leap of faith. Believing in something that you may never be able to prove conclusively. And there will be times that will test that faith. , moments that will have you questioning everything you previously accepted as fact. Drama aside, 2022 has been a tough year for believers in the House of Zuck, with many being pushed to the brink or throwing the towel, culminating in the capitulation we saw last quarter,” Bernstein analysts wrote in a note this month.
“But it looks like Meta has found its own religion on efficiency/profitability and investors now find a leaner, sharper company in front of them.”