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Explained: Meta’s new blue badge for Instagram, Facebook users

Meta Verified will allow people to verify their Instagram and Facebook profiles using a government ID and get a blue badge like Twitter users

Meta has announced a new blue badge subscription model. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

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Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook-parent Meta, announced the launch of Meta Verified on 19 February. This new subscription service will allow people to verify their Instagram and Facebook profiles using a government ID and get a blue badge like users are getting on Twitter. 

Zuckerberg said this service will provide “extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you” and users will also get direct access to customer support. 

Also read: Explained: How to keep your Twitter account secure without paying

What do we know?

Meta Verified starts at $11.99 (approximately 990) per month for web and $14.99 ( 1240) per month on iOS. According to the blog post on the official website, the service will be first rolled out, as part of a gradual test, in Australia and New Zealand later this week and will be made accessible to the rest of the world soon.

Meta has assured that there will be no changes to already verified accounts on Instagram and Facebook based on prior requirements, including authenticity and notability. The blue verified badge will confirm the authenticity of the account and provide better safety from impersonators who target people with growing online audiences. The blue badge is associated with increased visibility and reach in areas such as search, comments, and recommendations. However, the increased visibility “may vary depending on a subscriber’s existing audience size and the topic of their posts.”

The service will also provide “exclusive stickers on Facebook and Instagram stories and Facebook Reels, and 100 free stars a month on Facebook” for users to show support for other creators.

Who is eligible for this service?

According to the blog post, for the accounts to receive the verified badge, they must meet minimum activity requirements, such as prior posting history, and be at least 18 years old. Users will have to submit a government ID that matches the profile name and photo of the account they are applying for. Meta will be “taking swift action” against those who try to evade their systems.

After the verification of a profile, the profile name, username, date of birth, or photo on your profile cannot be changed without going through the subscription and verification application process all over again.

Currently, businesses are not eligible to apply for Meta Verified. 

“Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that’s valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses and our community at large,” Meta explains in the blog post

This move from Zuckerberg and Meta comes after Elon Musk rolled out Twitter Blue in November 2022, an opt-in, paid subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account” and last week increased pressure on users to pay for the premium service by making two-factor authentication exclusive for the blue badge users. If you don’t opt for Twitter Blue then Twitter will turn off your two-factor authentication after 20 March.

Could these “premium” services be steadily making social media only for the privileged? This is an interesting space that is sure to have more developments.

Also read: Have you tried these 5 authenticator apps?

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