Instagram and Facebook to get paid-for verification

According to BBC, Instagram and Facebook users will now be able to pay for a blue tick verification, parent company Meta has announced.

Meta Verified will cost $11.99 a month on web, or $14.99 for iPhone users.Mark Zuckerberg, Meta chief executive, said the move will improve security and authenticity on the social media apps. The move comes after Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, implemented the premium Twitter Blue subscription in November 2022. Badges – or “blue ticks”- have been used as verification tools for high-profile accounts to signify their authenticity. The subscription would give paying users a blue badge, increased visibility of their posts, protection from impersonators and easier access to customer service, Meta said in a post on their website.

Offering enhanced security for a fee may potentially pave the way for the next generation of paying for default security in our apps. Since Twitter removed SMS two factor authentication for free, non-verified accounts on Twitter, Meta are effectively following their rivals. Scams such as account impersonation are rife on social media and cause a headache for both user and company due to the very limited security and protection on offer. However, the way Meta are suggesting they overcome the problem is by requesting government issue identification in exchange for a verification tick which has always come with a stigma attached. Although at first glance it sounds like a safety measure, this causes potential extra problems as this held data will need extremely robust security due to the added pressures of attackers wanting to get their hands on it. But secondly, it doesn’t say how this would stop impersonation on Facebook and Instagram for fraudsters who create an account and don’t choose to pay for verification. This model suggests money is at the heart of the move towards the new structure but offering enhanced security as a feature may be an add on that remains to be seen.

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