In a move that is set to shake up the social media world, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has announced that it will begin charging users for blue tick verification.
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Meta, made the announcement via his verified Facebook account on Sunday, describing the new offering as a “subscription service” called “Meta Verified.”
According to the statement, users will be able to verify their accounts for a fee using government IDs, and will receive a blue badge, extra protection against impersonation, and direct access to customer support.
The service is expected to begin rolling out in Australia and New Zealand this week, with more countries to follow.
The move puts Facebook in the same league as Twitter, which also charges users for blue tick verification.
The not-so-surprising development reflects a growing trend in the tech industry, with companies looking for new income streams to recoup losses and expand their bottom line.
The announcement is likely to be met with mixed reactions from Facebook users, many of whom have grown accustomed to using the platform for free.
However, the company has been hit hard in recent years, even laying off thousands of staff, making the move towards charging for services necessary.
It is not yet clear whether the new charges will be limited to Facebook or extended to Meta’s video-streaming platform, Instagram.
The move is sure to send ripples through the tech industry as companies explore new ways to generate revenue.