There’s been some confusion around Meta’s (the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) plan to start charging for verified accounts. Twitter instituted a similar plan not too long ago, and now the biggest player in the social media game is following suit.
So what does it mean for you? Unless you’re a famous person or a well-known business, probably not much. Verified accounts have been reserved for celebrities, public figures, and very well-known businesses. It’s a little extra protection against someone impersonating you online.
The company says verified plans will start at $11.99 a month on the web or $14.99 a month on iOS. Perks of the plan include direct access to customer support and alleged extra protection against folks impersonating you online. For anyone who has ever attempted to contact Facebook’s customer support, the idea of direct access could be very appealing, especially if your business depends on Facebook.
This new blue checkmark of authenticity apparently won’t just be reserved for famous people like previous blue checkmarks. Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “Once you’ve verified your account with a government ID, we can more effectively find and remove any imposter accounts since we know which account is the real you.”
Zuckerberg says this won’t affect those who don’t verify their accounts, he explains the charge by saying it would be impossible to provide direct access to customer service and verification for the billions of Facebook users and adding a level with a fee to handle some of these issues is the only way to do it.
You’ll need to be 18 and have a government photo ID to verify your account. Right now, the verification service is rolling out in Australia and New Zealand. If all goes well there, expect it to follow in the rest of the world.