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Meta Tests ‘Verified’ Subscription for Instagram and Facebook

Is this a feature Instagram and Facebook users really want or is it a cash grab by Meta to refill their coffers?

Meta is the latest social media platform to try a “verified” feature on for size. On Sunday, Meta announced they are testing Meta Verified, a subscription bundle that includes account verification for subscribers along with improving visibility and support for paid users. The subscription is designed to make it easier for Instagram and Facebook users, especially creators, to establish their legitimacy while building their network on the social media platforms.

According to a February 19, 2023 blog post, Meta authenticates user accounts with a government ID. The subscription bundle includes “proactive account protection,” support, and increased visibility and reach. The test is being launched in Australia and New Zealand later this week and, as the company tweaks their offering, it will eventually be rolled out globally. In markets where it is available, Meta Verified can be purchased directly on the social media platforms. A monthly subscription for the web is available for $11.99 and $14.99 (USD) for iOS and Android users; $19.99 for the web and $24.99 (AUD) for iOS and Android users; and $23.99 for the web and $29.99 (NZD) on iOS and Android.

“As we test and learn, there will be no changes to accounts on Instagram and Facebook that are already verified based on prior requirements, including authenticity and notability. Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that’s valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses and our community at large,” said Meta in their announcement. “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 Verified features

Meta shared that the following features will be included with the Meta Verified bundle:

  • A verified blue badge confirming a user’s identity by matching to a government-issued ID
  • Proactive measures to prevent other users from impersonating other accounts
  • Support from “a real person” to help with common account issues
  • Increased visibility and reach with “prominence” in search, comments and recommendations
  • Exclusive features available only to Meta Verified subscribers such as exclusive stickers on Facebook and Instagram Stories and Facebook Reels, plus 100 free stars a month on Facebook to show support for other creators


Meta said they are building safeguards into the Meta Verified system to prevent user impersonations and abuse, similar to what Twitter experienced last fall when they released the first round of Twitter Blue checkmarks.

  • Eligible subscribers must meet “minimum activity requirements” and be at least 18 years old.
  • Applicants must submit a government-issued ID with a name and photo that matches the Instagram or Facebook profile they are applying for.
  • Once approved, Meta Verified will only support a user’s real name on their profile. They cannot change their profile name, user name, date of birth or profile photo without completing the application process again.
  • Businesses are not eligible for Meta Verified right now.
  • All Meta Verified subscribers and their content must meet the company’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

“We’re also committed to continuous monitoring and review of reported violations, as well as taking swift action against those who try to evade our systems,” Meta said.

Copyright © 2023 Authority Media Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

Twitter’s verification checkmarks

Meta’s move comes after Twitter’s early December relaunch of their Twitter Blue verification system. The service was initially launched in November, but it was such a disaster, the Elon Musk-owned social media platform immediately rolled it back. The revamped Twitter Blue subscription service is $8 a month for users of Twitter’s web platform and $11 a month for users who subscribe through the iOS app. Subscribers can subscribe to get the following verification checkmarks:

  • Gold checkmarks for companies
  • Gray checkmarks for government entities and organizations
  • Blue checkmarks for individuals, including celebrities

Insider Take

After Twitter’s debacle in November, does anyone really trust the verification checkmark anymore? More importantly, are they willing to pay for it? Based on Meta’s dismal financials for the fourth quarter and full-year 2022, this feels more like a cash grab than a strategic move. If 100,000 Americans subscribe at $11.99 a month, Meta will make $14.4 million a year. If those same users want to get verified on both Facebook and Instagram, double that figure to $28.8 million a year. That won’t solve Meta’s financial problems, but it won’t hurt either. We just aren’t convinced the Meta Verified subscription bundle is something users really want, even influencers and creators.

Takeaway for subscription companies: We might be wrong. Instagram and Facebook users may be clamoring for verification, but we don’t think so. The lesson here is to make sure your users want what you’re selling before you develop and pitch it to them. Test, test, test before wasting too much time and effort. This might be a harsh assessment, but in recent years, Meta has tried so many products and services that it later shuttered (e.g., News, Bulletin, etc.). This may be a wasted effort. And please, by no means follow Elon Musk’s blueprint for a successful social media platform. Just because he makes it so doesn’t mean it will turn to gold.

Copyright © 2023 Authority Media Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

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