Facebook and Instagram owner Meta will launch a paid subscription service starting at $11.99 a month allowing users to verify their accounts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Sunday, following a similar move by Elon Musk at Twitter.
Meta Verified, which will roll out first in Australia and New Zealand this week, will let users “verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” Zuckerberg said.
There would be no changes to accounts on Facebook and Instagram that are already verified, the company said, adding that only users who are over the age of 18 will be allowed to subscribe. The service is not yet available to businesses.
Meta’s announcement comes as the social media behemoth grappled with financial difficulties over the past year, announcing in November that it would lay off 11,000 employees or 13 percent of its staff — the largest worker reduction in the company’s history.