Waco, TX (FOX 44) — Facebook and Instagram have rolled-out a new subscription-based service called Meta Verified to allow users to pay for the highly sought-after blue check-mark.
Subscribers can either pay $11.99 or $14.99 to have it on their computer or phone.
It’s in testing right now in Australia and New Zealand with more countries soon to follow.
Meta Verified right now is only available for personal pages and influencers.
“It was an overdue project from META coming out,” said Cedarsphere owner Ziad Halabi. “Us digital marketing agencies work with customers that deal with a lot of impersonation work where somebody can easily make a Facebook page claiming they’re that business and defraud customers.”
Halabi is already on the waitlist to sign up for Meta Verified.
Halabi says the access to a blue checkmark can protect a business’s brand and public image.
“If you own a business called Company A, somebody can make another business called Company A, and a lot of times, typical users or customers will not know what what the difference is,” said Halabi. “You’re leading up to a website to sell a product that can easily take your customers away and tarnish your reputation without people knowing.”
Other services Meta Verified is offering include more direct access to customer support, and increased page visibility.
Owner of Digital Media Butterfly Caryn Brown says this service helps establish user credibility.
“It’s not just going to be a pay your money and you automatically get the check mark. I mean, they’re going to have to verify you. They’re going to still put you through the process, so you know that you’re dealing with someone who’s already been vetted by Facebook,” said Brown.
Meta’s announcement comes after the company lost more than $600 billion in market value last year.
Brown says this is an understandable way for the company to make money.
“Taking the time to either wait through customer service or having to pay a little more to get some customer service. You’re not having to pay to use Facebook in general, so it’s costing them. It’s got to come up somewhere,” said Brown.