Facebook, Instagram Unveil Paid Verification Badge System

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta announced a fee-based verification badge system less than a year after Twitter CE Elon Musk did the same.

The social media parent company launched the paid subscription service this week.

Accounts that already have verified badges will not be charged, but users that seek such a badge or the company’s identity monitoring services will pay $11.99 for internet accounts and $14.99 for mobile accounts.

The company termed the new program “Meta Verified,” which it states helps “your community knows it’s the real you with a verified badge.” The company also offers “direct account support” from a real person, as well as “exclusive stickers on Facebook and Instagram Stories and Facebook Reels.”

The service was initially tested in Australia and New Zealand. Currently, the service is available in those countries as well as in the United States.

Meta announced that it would require separate Meta Verified accounts for those with both Instagram and Facebook accounts. Verification using the service requires government-issued identification, the company said.

Once an account has been verified, the user cannot change the profile’s photo, name or username “without going through the Meta Verified subscription and verification process again.”

Twitter currently offers its own version of the verified badge, called “Twitter Blue.” This form of paid subscription starts at $8 per month. The system was announced by owner Elon Musk in November 2022.

The service gained 290,000 members in its first month, with about two-thirds being from the United States. This compares to about 400,000 verified accounts prior to Musk’s changes.

Musk has previously stated that he hopes to bring in half of Twitter’s revenue via subscriptions. The billionaire stated that the company is weighing a number of different subscription tiers.

This may include paying extra for an ad-free experience on Twitter or higher fees for companies. Currently, users of Twitter Blue can upload 1080p resolution videos and can edit tweets.

The company also unveiled a gold checkmark as a replacement for its former “official” label and added a gray checkmark for official accounts.