phone showing Instagram
Adobe Stock

Facebook, Instagram to start charging for verified accounts

Following on the heels of Elon Musk charging for verified-account status on Twitter, Meta is following suit by launching a paid verification status for Facebook and Instagram called Meta Verified at around $12 a month.

Facebook and Instagram to charge for verified accounts

Elon Musk took a lot of flak after announcing Twitter would charge a monthly fee for verifying user accounts are who they say they are. Despite this, Meta is jumping on the bandwagon with fee-based verified accounts for Facebook and Instagram.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Instagram last week that the platform will test a subscription service that will allow Instagram and Facebook users to pay a monthly fee to get verified, CNN reported

The new “Meta Verified” service will start at $11.99 a month on the web or $14.99 a month on iOS. In addition to verification, the service will also provide extra protection from impersonation accounts, as well as direct access to customer support.

The first test of the service will begin in Australia and New Zealand this week, and will be rolled out to “more countries soon” the company said.

What’s required for Meta Verification?

In order to get a verified “blue badge,” users will need to provide a government ID that matches their profile name and picture. Verification is only available for users aged 18 years and up.

“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Zuckerberg wrote in the announcement on Instagram.

“We are evolving the meaning of the blue badge to focus on authenticity so we can expand verification access to more people,” said a Meta spokesperson. “We will display follower count in more places so people can distinguish which accounts are notable public figures among accounts that share the same name.”

Who has to pay, and should you pay for verification?

The use of Facebook and Instagram continues to be free. However, the verification is simply a way of proving that account users are who they say they are, while also protecting them from impersonators.

It’s important to note that accounts that are already verified will not be charged the monthly fee for verification. Previous verification covered users who are “authentic and notable.”

Verification is probably not necessary for the everyday person. It is more important for influencers or well-known people in their fields to protect against someone trying to impersonate or parody their account, according to experts, CBS News reported.

Is it worth it just to get “direct access to customer support?”

Another part of the “Meta Verified” feature is the claim of “direct access to customer support.” That alone may be worth it for some users, as people have long complained about not being able to get help at Facebook’s homepage or not being able to find a person to talk to, NPR reported. However, users may want to hang back a little bit and see what happens first.

Zuckerberg or Meta has yet to give any specific details about what the added customer support actually entails, nor has defined what it means by the statement “direct access to customer support.”