Meta Verified was rolled out on the company’s social media platforms Friday. Instead of giving out blue checkmarks to accounts because the user is a prominent public figure, the checkmark is open to any user as a means to verify that the account is authentic. The system is similar to Twitter Blue, the subscription service unveiled by Elon Musk after he took over Twitter.
“The meaning of the verified badge has been updated to represent authenticity,” Instagram said on its help website. “An Instagram account with a verified badge next to its name now means that Instagram has confirmed that it is the authentic presence for that person or brand. Previously, the verified badge also required the person or brand to be notable and unique.” The company said that users who were verified under the old rules will still have their blue checkmarks.
“The verified badge is a tool to help people find the real accounts of people and brands,” Instagram added. “If an account has the verified badge, we’ve confirmed that it represents who it says it does. A verified badge is not a symbol to show importance, authority or subject matter expertise. We don’t use the verified badge verified to endorse or recognize public figures or brands.”
Like Twitter Blue, public figures who subscribe to Instagram Verified cannot change their username, or transfer their blue checks to a different account.
Facebook has not updated its help site in accordance with new policies yet, but Meta provided some additional details on its website. In addition to the blue check, users get proactive account protection from impersonation, exclusive features on Facebook and Instagram stories, and a direct connection to support teams on both platforms.
Meta Verified is much more expensive than Twitter Blue, however. Twitter Blue is $8 a month for web users, and $11 for iOS and Android. Meta Verified is $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 on mobile; users must also pay to be verified on each platform separately.
Meta is not simply rolling out services comparable to Elon Musk’s Twitter. The parent company of Facebook and Instagram is considering a decentralized, text-based social media platform as an alternative to Twitter after some users, many of whom are Left-leaning, are seeking alternatives to the platform after Musk’s takeover.
The initiative, codenamed P92, could be accessed by Facebook and Instagram users with their existing credentials. Adam Mosseri, who oversees Instagram, is leading the project.
The revelation comes weeks after Instagram introduced a notes feature through which users can create short posts using text and characters.
The new social media site would be centered upon verification badges, followers and likes, posts with previews, and other features similar to those currently offered by Twitter, according to a report from MoneyControl, which first broke the news of the initiative.
Meta revealed the plans for the new platform as disillusioned Twitter users seek alternatives. A handful have created accounts on Mastodon, which features a number of independently run nodes with their own codes of conduct, privacy policies, and content moderation standards.
Ben Zeisloft contributed to this report.