Reports of a paid verification for Instagram were all over the internet a fortnight ago; but that has now been confirmed by Meta. Paid verification for Instagram and Facebook is expected to cost $11.99 per month on web and $14.99 per month on mobile.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made this known in an announcement via Instagram. A “Meta verified” account will you access a verified badge, increased visibility on the platforms, prioritized customer support, and many more. The test is currently being conducted in Australia and New Zealand, but is expected to be available in other countries soon.
“This week we’re starting to roll out Meta Verified — a subscription service that lets you 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 writes. “This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services.”
To become a Meta Verified user, you will need to meet the minimum activity requirements including, being at least 18 years of age, submit a government issued ID matching your name and photo on your Facebook or Instagram, and other requirements.
In addition, users who sign up for the service will get exclusive stickers for Stories and Reels, and will also receive 100 free stars every month, or digital currency that can be used to tip creators in Facebook. Businesses, however, cannot apply for Meta Verified badge. You cannot change your profile name, username, birthday, or profile photo without going through the verification process all over again.
Instagram currently offers a blue badge to high-profile users, including celebrities, and global brands or entities. That said, its blue badge is highly coveted, leading smaller creators to go the extra length to get it. People pay thousands of dollars for the blue badges through backdoor means, according to TechCrunch. There is a market for it, which could be the inspiration for Meta.
In other news, Meta announced a new broadcast chat feature called “Channels” on Instagram. Channels lets creators share public, one-to-many messages directly to their followers which keeps them engaged. The new feature supports text, images, polls, reactions and more. The feature was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg using his own broadcast channel.
Channels is being tested with a select creators in the US, but Instagram plans to expand the feature in the next couple of months. With Channels, creators can keep their followers updated and see behind-the-scenes moments. While creators can post on Channels, followers are only limited to reacting to content and participating in polls.