Following Elon Musk’s recent action on Twitter, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg has started charging users and organisations for the verified blue tick on Facebook and Instagram. At the moment, the paid verification service for Facebook and Instagram is rolling out in Australia and New Zealand, and it will be arriving in more countries very soon.
According to Zuckerberg, the subscription service will allow you to verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against imposter accounts and have direct access to customer support. He added that the feature is about increasing authenticity and security across their services. In the US, Meta Verified is priced at USD 11.99 (about RM53.12) per month on the web or USD 14.99 (about RM66.41) per month on iOS.
The Verge reports that the Meta Verified service will be rolling out in Australia this week with a monthly subscription of AUD 19.99 (about RM60.87) on the web and AUD 24.99 (about RM76.09) on mobile. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, it will cost a monthly fee of NZD 23.99 (about RM66.22) on the web and NZD 29.99 (about RM82.79) on mobile.
Besides having the verified badge to prove that an account is authentic, Mark Zuckerberg emphasised that customer support is a big part of the value of Meta Verified subscription. He said once an account is verified, they can be more effectively find and remove any imposter accounts from which they know which account is the “real you”.
Some have accused Meta of trying to gain extra profit over a necessary feature and users shouldn’t be made to pay a monthly subscription fee for customer service. Zuckerberg responded that they have provided protection and some support for everyone but it will cost them a significant amount of money to provide direct customer service support for millions or billions of people. He said subscription fees will cover the direct support and will pace how many people will sign up to ensure quality as they scale up.
Meta has been plagued with scam ads on its platform and it fails to take action in a timely manner. For a tech giant that makes billions of dollars in revenue from digital advertising, these scam ads can be prevented if Meta conducts basic checks on new advertisers and sets up a location moderation team in Malaysia. In recent weeks, there has been a rise in scam ads approved by Meta that promote RM9 coffee machines, backpacks and electric scooters. Malaysia unfortunately has limited powers to act on platforms hosted overseas and Meta has shown a lack of serious action to tackle scam ads which resulted in huge financial losses to Malaysians.
Should customer service and action against scams be allowed to be a paid feature? Can Facebook ensure that they won’t approve a Meta Verified subscription from a scammer? Let us know in the comments below.
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