Paid verification for Instagram and Facebook, dubbed Meta Verified, launches in UK at a cost of £9.99 per month for each service
UK social networking users can now purchase a verified service to prove to the world that they really are who they claim to be.
The paywall feature from Meta Platform is similar to Twitter Blue that was recently relaunched by Twitter. The Mark Zuckerberg option however is called ‘Meta Verified’ and it essentially allows users on Facebook and Instagram to pay for a verified service in the UK.
Facebook’s parent Meta Platforms had said in February this year that it planned to introduce a paid-for verification for Facebook and Instagram.
It had launched Meta Verified for users in Australia and New Zealand, and Mark Zuckerberg said at the time that the feature would offer improved “impersonation protection”, wider reach for users’ posts and direct access to customer support.
In March the verified service launched for users in the United States, and now in mid May Meta Verified has been launched for users in the UK.
It will give Facebook and Instagram users a blue tick at a cost of £9.99 per month, per service.
Subscribers must be at least 18 years old and submit a government ID (with a photo) to qualify. They also have to turn on two-factor verification.
It is initially being rolled out to UK users who had registered an interest in Meta Verified, but in the coming weeks it will be deployed more widely across the UK.
According to Meta, the verified badge confirms “you’re the real you and that your account has been authenticated with a government ID”.
Meta also claims the verified badge provides more protection from impersonation with “proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.”
Meta also said the verified service provides access to a real person for support in relation to common account issues, as well as exclusive features to “express yourself in unique ways.”
The rollout of Meta Verified comes amid an efficiency drive after a tough 2022, where Meta contended with a post-pandemic slump in digital ads, coupled with heavy spending on the Metaverse that unsettled some investors.
Zuckerberg recognised this investor concern in February after Meta posted a notable decline in profits, coupled with a third straight quarter revenue decline, which led him to promise investors that 2023 would be a “year of efficiency”.
And it is clear that Meta is looking for other ways of monetising its platforms, after announcing 11,000 job losses in November 2022 due to over-investment during the pandemic.
Then in March Mark Zuckerberg informed staff that he had made the “difficult decision” to axe another 10,000 positions.
Unlike Twitter, Meta currently says that it will not scrap its existing verification system for notable public figures, which is free and based on account and eligibility requirements.
However, Meta Verified is notable as it is the first time that Meta has decided to add a paid tier for Facebook or Instagram, which until this point had been free to use.