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Instagram and Facebook to charge monthly fees for verified accounts

Meta is testing a verification program that will charge users on Facebook and Instagram monthly paid subscription fees to have verified accounts, according to a company announcement on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Meta said, “We’re beginning to test Meta Verified in Canada to help creators establish their presence and build community faster on our platforms. This subscription bundle on Instagram and Facebook gives creators broader access to verification and account support in English, and French in the coming days.”

“Meta Verified is available for direct purchase on Instagram or Facebook. Canadians can purchase a monthly subscription for (CAD) $15.99 on the web and (CAD) $19.99 on iOS and Android.”

Elon Musk appears to have started a trend when he began charging users $10 to $15 if they want to have a verified twitter account with a blue checkmark.

Social media experts said it's a logical next step for Meta to try and make money on its platforms by rolling out paid monthly subscriptions for verified accounts.

"I’m not surprised at all. We are entering a phase of paidification if we are going to be able to use the vast amount of information for free” said Mohit Rajhans, co-founder of Think Start Inc.

According to a statement, Meta Verified Features will include a verified badge, confirming you’re the real you and that your account has been authenticated with a government ID.

There will be more protection from impersonation with proactive account monitoring of people who might target accounts with growing online audiences. There’s also help when you need it with access to a real person for common account issues and exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways.

Getting help when problems arise on Facebook and Instagram has been a common complaint.

"With the new subscription bundle they will also get a live agent who will be able to work with you closely with the issues you are having with your account," said Janita Pannu, with OPIIA Digital Marketing Agency.

It's not clear how many of the millions of Canadians who use Facebook and Instagram will pay for a monthly subscription. It may make your account less likely to be hacked and keep your information safer, but it really depends on what you use the platforms for.

"If I was advising someone right now I wouldn't run out and start paying for this verification in order to validate myself. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to understand its value," said Rajhans.

Meta has already tested the paid subscription plan in New Zealand and Australia, but the company faces an uphill battle as Twitter is also having difficulty getting people to pay for something they can still use for free. Top Stories

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