Mark Zuckerberg to introduce fee for Facebook and Instagram for verified users
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Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / mundissima / Alamy
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has introduced a new fee for verified Facebook and Instagram users.
Seemingly taking the lead from Elon Musk's controversial Twitter policies, Zuckerberg plans to make users who want a blue tick to pay up.
Flash-forward some years to 2012 and the billionaire put in a staggering $1 billion bid to buy Instagram, which ended up being widely received as one of the best tech acquisitions of all time.
Clearly a smart purchase, the photo-sharing app ended up contributing a massive $20 billion to Meta's revenue in 2019 alone.
However, since the purchase, many users of both Facebook and Instagram have been battling with constant changes and updates.
Whether it's the Instagram reels seemingly inspired by TikTok, the growing desire for the platform to bring back the chronological timeline, or the latest feature that allows users to start commenting in gifs, there have clearly been some tensions brewing.
So much so that is actually an online petition calling on the Meta-owned platform to roll back most of the latest changes and 'Make Instagram Instagram Again' with over 332k signatures so far.
The latest change is far more significant than adding gifs to a comment section, though.
Announced yesterday (19 February), Zuckerberg took to Facebook to share the latest update to both Meta platforms.
Dubbed a 'new product announcement', Zuckerberg began by letting users know that they would be rolling out a brand-new subscription service later this week.
He wrote: "This week, we're starting to roll out Meta Verified."
Explaining Meta Verified as a subscription service that lets you 'verify your account' using a government ID - users will receive a blue badge to get 'extra impersonation protection' against fraudulent accounts claiming to be you.
It also notes that Meta Verified subscribers will be able to get 'direct access' to customer support.
"This new feature," Zuckerberg continued, "is about increasing authenticity and security across our services."
The new service will start at $11.99 (£10) per month on web or $14.99 (£12) on iOS and will be rolling out in Australia and New Zealand this week and with more countries to follow soon.
The news sent the internet into a spiral with many hitting back at Zuckerberg for the decision.
One Twitter user posted: "'Meta Verified' is a trailing indicator suggesting that we have passed the point where there is nothing left of our lives for Zuckerberg to profitably strip-mine."
"But of course Zuckerberg would jump on the verified bandwagon though I wonder what took him so long," a second added.
A final user asked: "Why would anyone pay for social media?"