Is Zuckerberg a Copycat? Verification Service Coming to Facebook and Instagram

Twitter was the first of the large social media companies to offer a paid verification service. Now, more companies seem like they're jumping on the trend, with Meta making their announcement on Sunday.

‘Meta Verified'

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Sunday that Facebook and Instagram would be rolling out a paid subscription service. Zuckerberg called the service “Meta Verified” and said that the purpose of the service would be to “increase authenticity and security across our services.” The service has two different price points.

If you purchase it through an internet browser, it will be $11.99, and if you buy it through one of the Meta IOS apps, it will be $14.99.

Social media companies have been trying to find ways to cut costs and increase revenue after having a rough few quarters. Meta, in particular, released its third quarter in a row of revenue declines and has already laid off 11,000 employees.

Subscribers to the new program would need to provide a government-issued ID that matches their profile name and photo, be at least 18 years old, and have prior posting history on the platform.

New subscribers cannot change their profile details, such as name, username, or picture, under the program. If you want to do that, you will have to re-apply for the service. Meta clarified that accounts currently verified on its platforms will not be affected by the new service, since their identities and notability have already been verified.

The Public's Reaction

Zuckerberg's Facebook post racked up more than 70,000 comments and 40,000 shares. Many people were unhappy that they would have to pay for a service they feel they should already be getting without paying.

One person said, “This really should just be part of the core product, the user should not have to pay for this. Clearly it’s known by Meta this is filling a need; why profit additionally from it? Not sure how that is supporting authenticity. Be transparent as to the purpose of the feature.”

Another user pointed out that they shouldn't have to pay for Facebook to take down accounts that impersonate them and scam their followers. They also called out Instagram in particular for not being vigilant in taking down imposter accounts.

“Call me crazy but I don’t think I should have to pay you guys to take down the accounts impersonating me and scamming my followers… 95% of the accounts I report for impersonation yields no results from your platform and I know I’m not the only one. I have resorted to blocking countries on facebook from accessing my account where most of these scammers reside.

On Instagram I don’t have that option. They are clear as day pretending to be me. Using my photos, copying my bio, messaging followers pretending to be another account of mine and almost 100% of the time when they are reported for impersonation, your platform says it’s not a violation and you do not remove the account.”
Another user accused Zuckerberg of directing accountability to the users, not the companies. “Wow…asking people to pay for the security and safety that should not be a feature but a basic requirement for Meta to deliver with their products. This is how big companies are moving the accountability to the user, not the maker!”
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.