Elon Musk responds to Mark Zuckerberg introducing fee for verified Facebook and Instagram users
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Elon Musk has responded after Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to charge Facebook and Instagram users for verified accounts.
Testing will begin in New Zealand and Australia this week and will roll out to other countries soon, he said.
For $11.99 per month (£10) on the web or $14.99 dollars (£12.50) per month on Apple and Android operating systems, Meta will use a government identification to verify a user's account and give it a blue badge.
Previously, Meta's blue badges were free and reserved for notable public figures or businesses.
It comes after Twitter attracted controversy last year by charging users $8 dollars (£6.65) per month for Twitter Blue, which verifies their account with a blue tick.
Responding to a tweet announcing the news of Meta Verified, Twitter owner Musk wrote: "Inevitable."
Inevitable— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2023
On Saturday (18 February), Twitter took its service a step further, announcing that Twitter users would lose their ability to secure their accounts with two-factor authentication unless they pay the $8 monthly Twitter Blue subscription.
Social media companies have been trying to find new revenue sources as online advertising slows.
Earlier this month, Meta announced its third consecutive quarter of revenue decline despite an increase in users.
The company announced it was laying off 11,000 workers, or 13 percent of its workforce, in November.
Announcing Meta Verified, Facebook co-founder Zuckerberg said: "Good morning and new product announcement: this week we're starting to roll out Meta Verified - a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support.
"This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services.
"Meta Verified starts at $11.99 / month on web or $14.99 / month on iOS. We'll be rolling out in Australia and New Zealand this week and more countries soon."
Meta said public figures and others who were previously verified will not be affected by the change.
Meta Verified is aimed at influencers and others who use social media for their business but are not notable public figures.