Facebook, the social networking platform that was originally intended to remain free, along with its subsidiary Instagram, have unveiled a paid subscription service due to the declining advertising-based business model of the internet.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook parent company Meta, revealed the Meta Verified service, which starts at $11.99 per month to authenticate user accounts and which aims to improve security and authenticity across both platforms.
The service, which will roll out first in Australia and New Zealand, will give subscribers a badge on their profile to indicate their verified status, extra protection against impersonation, direct customer support and increased visibility.
The company has stated that the service is primarily aimed at content creators seeking to expand their reach on Facebook and Instagram, and that it will continue to develop following a testing period.
The company added that there will be no changes to previously-verified accounts, and that only users over the age of 18 will be able to subscribe. It remains unclear how the company will price the service in countries where $12 per month is unaffordable or in economies where cash is the primary mode of payment.
A previous attempt to introduce a similar service by Elon Musk at Twitter last year met with difficulties due to an influx of fake accounts.
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