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Meta introduces paid subscriptions for Facebook, Instagram

Everything Kenyans need to know about the pricing and exclusive features

Meta apps on a phone. Photo: Yui Mok/Zuma Press

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced the launch of a new subscription service called Meta Verified.

The service allows users to verify their account with a government ID, get a blue badge, extra impersonation protection, and direct access to customer support, all aimed at improving authenticity and security across the platform.

According to Meta founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the new feature will be rolled out in Australia and New Zealand this week, with more countries to follow soon.

The subscription service starts at $11.99 (Sh1,500) per month on the web and $14.99 (Sh1,900) per month on iOS.

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He defended the pricing of the new subscription price, saying it requires resources to run the service.

We already provide protection and some support for everyone. But verifying government IDs and providing direct access to customer support for millions or billions of people costs a significant amount of money.

Subscription fees will cover this and will also pace how many people sign up so we'll be able to ensure quality as we scale,” he said.

Meta Verified, similar to Twitter Blue, launched by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, allows users to verify their Twitter profiles for around $8 (sh1,000) a month.

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However, the full rollout of Twitter Blue was postponed after accounts that impersonated companies and celebrities abused the feature. The rollout resumed in December 2022.

A person close to Meta clarified that a government ID would be required to authenticate an account and that subscriptions would include monitoring for account impersonation.

Additionally, Meta Verified subscribers would get access to more features to increase visibility and reach, such as prominence in search and recommendations.

According to a spokesperson, while Elon Musk has been vocal about his plan to eliminate badges from Twitter accounts that were verified before the Twitter Blue rollout, Meta will not be modifying accounts that have already been verified as the service is being tested.

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Snapchat also launched its own subscription model called Snapchat Plus, costing $3.99 (Sh500) a month, which gives users exclusive access to new features like longer story expiration and custom notification sounds.

With the rise of online identity theft and impersonation, social media platforms are increasingly seeking ways to ensure the authenticity of user accounts.

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