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Zuckerberg emulates Musk by selling blue badges on Instagram and Facebook

On Sunday, Facebook-parent Meta launched Meta Verified, a subscription service that lets users add the blue check mark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for up to $15 a month by verifying their identity, tapping a new revenue channel that has had mixed results for Twitter.

Starting this week in New Zealand and Australia, the subscription service costs $11.99 per month online or $14.99 on iOS and Android. Meta lets users verify their identities with government-issued ID cards. The subscription service will also provide “increased visibility and reach,” improved impersonation protection, and direct customer support, the company said.

Meta Verified “is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. He said “more countries soon” would get the subscription service. We’ll update the story after asking Meta more questions.

Meta, which hasn’t charged customers for most of its services for more than 15 years, has seen its revenues decline in recent years due to Apple’s iOS privacy changes that limit the social firm’s ability to track users’ internet activity. Last year, Zuckerberg’s company, which makes most of its money from advertising, said Apple’s move would cost it more than $10 billion in 2022.

Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that creators, businesses, and our community value. “As part of this vision, we are evolving the meaning of the verified badge so we can expand access to verification and more people can trust the accounts they interact with are authentic,” Meta wrote in a blog post.

Social media companies like subscription services.

Sunday’s announcement follows Snap’s launch of its own subscription service last year, which has converted over a million users into paid customers, and Elon Musk’s revamp of Twitter Blue to add features like the blue check mark. Twitter Blue is now available in India and Indonesia. The Information reported 180,000 Twitter Blue accounts as of mid-January.

Musk, a vocal critic of Facebook services, is betting on Twitter Blue as a revenue driver for Twitter, which he acquired last year for $44 billion.

Social media users covet the blue checkmark. It was previously reserved for politicians, actors, musicians, athletes, and journalists.

Musk opposes it, saying the feature should be available to all. He previously stated that non-Twitter Blue subscribers will lose the blue tick mark.

“As we test and learn, there will be no changes to Instagram and Facebook accounts that are already verified based on prior requirements, including authenticity and notability,” said Meta.

Meta, whose shares have rebounded in recent weeks, is also reeling from a harsh market response to its grand metaverse vision. After laying off 11,000 workers in two months, the company has pledged to cut metaverse spending. Another layoff round is rumored.

Religion demands faith. Belief in something you may never prove. There will be times when you question everything you believed. Dramatics aside, 2022 was a difficult year for believers in the House of Zuck with many pushed to the brink or throwing in the towel culminating in the capitulation we saw last quarter,” Bernstein analysts wrote this month.

But Meta appears to have found their own religion on efficiency/profitability and investors now see a leaner, sharper company.”

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