Meta launches a paid verification service

New York (CNN) Mark Zuckerberg announced on Instagram Sunday that Meta is testing a subscription service that will allow Instagram and Facebook users to pay to be verified.

Meta Verified will start at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 per month on iOS, and the company is launching it in Australia and New Zealand this week and “more countries soon.”

The service also comes with other benefits: additional protection from impersonating accounts and direct access to customer support.

To avoid fake accounts, customers who wish to earn a blue badge will need to provide government identification that matches their profile name and photo. Users must be over 18 years of age to be eligible.

“This new feature is about increasing reliability and security across our services,” Zuckerberg wrote in an Instagram broadcast.

Meta clarified in a statement that there will be no changes to accounts that have already been verified. Verification was previously for “trusted and prominent” users.

“We’re developing the meaning of the blue badge to focus on authenticity so we can extend access to verification to more people,” said a Meta spokesperson. “We’ll show follower counts in more places so people can tell which accounts are notable public figures from accounts that share the same name.”

Meta joins other platforms, such as Discord, Reddit, and YouTube, who have their own subscription-based models.

Twitter It has relaunched its verification subscription service, Twitter Blue, in December, after the emergence of fake “verified” accounts forced it to pull the feature. The checkmark options now have different colors to distinguish between accounts: gold checks for businesses, gray checks for government agencies and other organizations, and blue checks for individuals, whether they’re celebrities or not.

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Twitter Blue costs $11 per month for iOS and Android subscribers, and is part of owner Elon Musk’s bid to boost subscriptions business after buying the platform for $44 billion.

CNN’s Claire Duffy contributed to this report.

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