Mark Zuckerberg announced on Instagram Sunday that Meta is testing a subscription service that will allow Instagram and Facebook users to pay to be verified.
Meta Verified will be available in Australia and New Zealand this week for $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month on iOS, with more countries to follow.
Other benefits include extra protection against impersonation accounts and direct access to customer support.
Customers who want to get the blue badge would need to provide a government ID that matches their profile name and picture to avoid fake accounts. Users must also be over the age of 18 to be eligible.
“This new feature aims to improve the authenticity and security of our services across the board,” Zuckerberg wrote in an Instagram broadcast channel.
Meta clarified in a statement that existing verified accounts will not be affected. Previously, verification was reserved for users who were “authentic and notable.”
We are changing the meaning of the blue badge to emphasise authenticity so that we can provide verification access to more people, according to a Meta representative. We will display the number of followers in more places so that people can tell which accounts are notable public figures among accounts with the same name.
Meta joins other platforms with subscription-based models, such as Discord, Reddit, and YouTube.