Zuck Follows Elon: Facebook Introduces Paid Verification Service After Twitter Blue Rollout

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook/Meta, is seen in attendance during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 01, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Facebook is introducing a new paid service called Meta Verified, enabling users on both its main platform and Instagram to obtain the coveted blue verification badge. The move comes shortly after Elon Musk created a paid verification service for Twitter.

BBC News reports that Facebook (now known as Meta) has introduced a new paid verification badge system that will allow users to pay to receive a blue checkmark — similar to the recently launched Twitter Blue feature. Facebook’s new feature will initially be offered in Australia and New Zealand for a monthly fee of $11.99 on the web and $14.99 for iPhone users.

Zuckerberg Meta Selfie

Mark Zuckerberg Meta Selfie (Facebook)

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Instagram

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Instagram (AFP/Getty)

This action is part of a larger trend that has seen similar services introduced by other social media platforms like Twitter. Users can pay for extra features like a blue verification badge, a bookmarking feature, and other benefits through Twitter Blue, which went live in November 2022.

Blue verification badges are frequently used on social media sites to display the legitimacy of well-known accounts. Individuals will be able to purchase a verified Facebook badge through this new subscription service, which will increase the visibility of their posts, protect them from impersonators, and make it simpler for them to contact customer service.

However, other social media platforms have previously run into issues when allowing paying users access to a blue tick. In November of last year, Twitter’s pay-for-verification feature was put on hold after scammers and trolls pretended to be famous people and well-known brands after purchasing the badge.

In order to stop this from happening on their platforms, Instagram and Facebook users’ usernames must match those on a piece of official identification before they can be verified. They must also have profile pictures that show their faces. This is designed to make it more difficult to verify accounts and deter scammers and impersonators.

Facebook has not yet announced the date of the feature’s rollout to other nations. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that it would happen “soon.”

Social media platforms are not the only ones that have switched to a subscription-based business model. In order to make money, other websites like Reddit, YouTube, and Discord have also implemented subscription-based business models. The switch to a subscription-based business model is still relatively recent for social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Although Elon Musk received harsh criticism for adding a paid tier to Twitter, it seems that his peers were paying close attention. Despite recent criticism, Musk’s Twitter Blue experiment has shown that at least some consumers are still willing to pay for an improved experience.

The users of large-scale, free-to-use digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are frequently referred to as “the product.” This implies that every piece of information these companies collect about you is used to market to you through advertisements. It’s a multi-billion dollar idea that has made numerous businesses extremely wealthy.

People are beginning to vote with their feet as they become more aware of how their data is being used in this manner. Consumers’ growing concerns about data privacy have been brought to light by Apple’s release of a feature that prevents online activity from being tracked — severely hampering the business of companies like Facebook.

Facebook’s criticism of Apple’s action underscores the company’s growing anxiety about its capacity to profit from user data. In part, the switch to a subscription-based model represents an effort to provide an alternative revenue source that does not depend on the sale of user data.

Read more at BBC News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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