Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that Instagram and Facebook will incorporate paid verification on both platforms. It’s a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID. Then, you get a blue badge, extra impersonation protection against accounts that are claiming to be you, and also direct access to customer support. It’s a new feature that has the potential to increase security and authenticity.
Paying for Identity Protection on Facebook
Meta Verified starts at $11.99/month on the web. On iOS, this will cost you $14.99 each month. Mark Zuckerberg also added that the subscription service will be rolled out first in New Zealand and Australia, with more countries to follow soon. As expected, Facebook users reacted with broadly the same worries as when Twitter launched its paid-for-verification subscription last year.
One verified user wrote that it’s not normal for people to pay for something that should be done by default without any subscriptions – to take down accounts impersonating them and scamming their followers. As with Twitter, users are not happy with having to pay for impersonation protection. The comments were also not keen on paying for customer support. They think that this should be free. Just like Facebook claimed back in the day that “It’s free, and always will be.”
Identity Protection Racket!
Cartoonist Rob DenBleyker wrote that people should read Mark’s post in a Joe Pesci voice, so it sounds even more like a protection racket. Zuckerberg responded to a user who suggested that these features be incorporated into the core product by emphasizing that lower levels of protection will continue to be offered for free.
He wrote that Facebook already provides protection and some support for everyone; however, verifying government IDs and providing direct access to customer support for billions of people can be costly. That said, subscription fees can cover this and will also pace how many users sign up so they will be able to ensure quality as they scale.