While the social networking giant is going through a difficult financial patch, the boss of Meta is going to offer a new paid service. Mark Zuckerberg announced on Sunday the launch of “Meta Verified”, a paid subscription starting at $11.99 per month to authenticate his account on the platforms.
The formula, which will first roll out in Australia and New Zealand this week, resembles the one implemented by Elon Musk on Twitter, with identity verification services and benefits like “direct access to the service customer “. “The idea is to improve the authenticity [of the profiles and therefore of the exchanges, Ed] and the security on our services”, specified Mark Zuckerberg in a message broadcast on his Instagram channel and on his Facebook account.
On Facebook and Instagram, followers will have a badge that shows their identity has been verified, as well as protections for their account (including against impersonation), access to customer service, and more visibility. ‘after a spokesperson for Meta. Content from creators who subscribe to Meta Verified will be distributed more widely and appear at the top of search results and recommendations. Membership is restricted to individuals and professionals over the age of 18 and is not open to business accounts.
The slogan of the social network launched in 2004 has long been “It’s free and it always will be”. Facebook has thus established the dominant model of large online platforms: users take advantage of free services that collect personal information about them to target them with personalized advertising.
Acclaimed by advertisers, from big brands to small businesses, Google and Meta have quickly become the dominant players in the sector, earning tens of billions of dollars each year. But, in 2022, Meta saw its advertising revenue decline for the first time since the California group went public in 2012.
Facebook alone has reached 2 billion daily active users on the platform. But between the inflation that is eating away at advertisers’ budgets and the fierce competition from apps like TikTok, these users are no longer reporting as much to Meta as before. The company is also suffering a lot from the regulatory changes introduced by its neighbor Apple, which restrict the ability of social networks to collect user data to sell ultra-targeted advertising space.
These factors have already prompted other networks, from Reddit to Snapchat, to launch paid plans. Acquired by Elon Musk in the fall, Twitter has set up Blue, a subscription to authenticate his account, make his tweets appear in priority and see less advertising, among other advantages. Blue and Meta Verified do not cost the same price depending on whether the subscription is taken out on the Web or on the mobile application, because of the commissions charged by iOS (Apple) on iPhones and Google on smartphones operating under Android. Users will therefore pay $11.99 per month for Meta Verified on the web, or $14.99 per month on iOS or Android.
Meta implemented a massive social plan in the fall, cutting 13% of its workforce, and Mark Zuckerberg indicated earlier this month that he wanted fewer managers at “middle levels”. The year 2023 will be the year of “efficiency”, he promised, remarks hailed by stock market investors.