Meta plans to launch a new blue badge for verified accounts on Facebook and Instagram this week, according to a new announcement from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The service, which sounds an awful lot like Twitter’s Blue service, will cost $11.99 per month for users who apply on the web or $14.99 per month on iOS—likely because Apple takes a $3 cut on subscriptions and Facebook is trying to price that in.
Users will need to provide Meta with a government ID, which will get them a blue checkmark on their accounts. The goal is to fight impersonation, according to Zuckerberg.
Users will also “get direct access to customer support,” though it’s not immediately clear what that will look like. Small businesses often complain about the difficulty of communicating with Facebook when there’s a problem with their accounts.
“Direct access to customer support is the real value, much more so than the blue check mark,” one user wrote in response to Zuckerberg’s announcement on Sunday morning.
“I agree that’s a big part of the value. Also, once you’ve verified your account with a government ID we can more effectively find and remove any imposter accounts since we know which account is the real you,” Zuckerberg responded.
While Zuckerberg wrote the service would be rolling out this week, he left some ambiguity about when it will be available in various countries, including the U.S.
“We’ll be rolling out in Australia and New Zealand this week and more countries soon,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Twitter already has a checkmark system, which cost $8 on web and $11 on iOS, but it’s adopted a confusing array of different colors since CEO Elon Musk took over in October. But it sounds like Zuckerberg only has plans for one color: blue. The Meta CEO has previously said blue is his favorite color because he’s red-green color blind.
But some users weren’t thrilled about the announcement, commenting on Zuckerberg’s post that security features should be free.
“Wow…asking people to pay for the security and safety that should not be a feature but a basic requirement for Meta to deliver with their products. This is how big companies are moving the accountability to the user, not the maker!” one Facebook user wrote.
Meta did not immediately return an email Sunday morning with questions. I’ll update this post if I hear back.