The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)

Meta testing new subscripti­on service

- By Dee-Ann Durbin

Meta is testing a new subscripti­on service that would let Facebook and Instagram users pay for a verified account.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Meta Verified on his social media accounts Sunday. Testing will begin in New Zealand and Australia this week and will roll out to other countries soon, he said.

For $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 per month on Apple and Android operating systems, Meta will use a government identifica­tion to verify a user’s account and give the account a blue badge. Previously, Meta’s blue badges were free and reserved for notable public figures or businesses.

Subscriber­s will also get extra protection against account impersonat­ion and direct access to customer

support, Meta said.

“This new feature is about increasing authentici­ty and security across our services,” Zuckerberg said in his message.

Meta said public figures

and others who were previously verified won’t be affected by the change. Meta Verified is aimed at influencer­s and others who use social media for their business but aren’t notable public figures.

Meta is taking a page from Twitter’s playbook in launching a subscripti­on service. Late last year, Twitter began charging users $8 per month for Twitter Blue, which verifies their account with a blue check.

On Saturday, Twitter took the service a step further, announcing that Twitter users would lose their ability to secure their accounts with two-factor authentica­tion unless they pay the $8 monthly Twitter Blue subscripti­on.

Social media companies have been trying to find new revenue sources as online advertisin­g slows.

Earlier this month, Meta announced its third consecutiv­e quarter of revenue declines despite an increase in users. Meta announced it was laying off 11,000 workers, or 13% of its workforce, in November.

 ?? THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Meta’s logo on a sign at the company’s headquarte­rs in Menlo Park, Calif.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Meta’s logo on a sign at the company’s headquarte­rs in Menlo Park, Calif.

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