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Meta Begins Selling Blue Badge On Instagram And Facebook As Zuckerberg Borrows Musk Playbook

 |  February 20, 2023

By: Manish Singh (TechCrunch)

Facebook-parent Meta has launched a subscription service, called Meta Verified, that will allow users to add the coveted blue check mark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for up to $15 a month by verifying their identity, its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Sunday, tapping a new revenue channel that has returned mixed success for its smaller rival Twitter.

The subscription service, first rolling out 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 and Google’s Android. Meta will allow users to verify their identity by using their government-issued ID cards. The company said the subscription service will also offer “increased visibility and reach,” improved protection against impersonation attacks and direct access to customer support.

Meta Verified “is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” said Zuckerberg in a Facebook post. The subscription service will be extended to “more countries soon,” he said, without elaborating on the timeline. We’ve asked Meta some additional questions and will update the story when we hear back.

The revenues of Meta, which has opted not to charge its customers for most of its services in more than a decade and a half since its founding, have taken a hit in recent years following Apple’s decision to introduce stringent privacy changes on iOS that curtails the social firm’s ability to track users’ internet activities. The Zuckerberg-led firm, which makes nearly all of its money from advertising, said last year that Apple’s move would cost the company more than $10 billion in lost ads revenue in 2022.

“Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that’s valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses and our community at large. As part of this vision, we are evolving the meaning of the verified badge so we can expand access to verification and more people can trust the accounts they interact with are authentic,” Meta wrote in a blog post…