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Meta is testing a paid verification subscription service called Meta Verified, and will be offering it to users for $11.99 (€11.20) a month. This comes months after Elon Musk’s controversial decision to introduce paid verification on Twitter for $11 (€10.30) a month.

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, explained that once users subscribe to the service, they will be able to submit their Government-issued ID and obtain a blue verification badge. The service is being introduced first in New Zealand and Australia, with other countries to follow soon.

“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” read Mr Zuckerberg’s statement on Instagram, since it would add an extra layer of, “protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support.”

In a blog post, Meta explained that to qualify for Meta Verified, users need to be at least 18 years old, meet a minimum level of activity on the account and submit a Government ID that matches their profile name and photo. It explained that once verified users will not be able to change their profile name, username, date of birth or photo without re-starting the application process.

Meta Verified users will also be granted access to exclusive features on the company’s apps, and have their visibility and reach increased.

Thus far Meta’s strategy regarding verification has been to grant it to individuals and pages who were vulnerable to impersonation, such as celebrities, politicians, businesses and other organisations, for free.

While the service will initially be available for individuals, in the long-term Meta intends to extend it to businesses and other types of profiles, “ we are evolving the meaning of the verified badge so we can expand access to verification and more people can trust the accounts they interact with are authentic.”

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