Facebook’s parent firm Meta Platforms Inc. is introducing Meta Verified, a membership service with a number of extra benefits and features, including account verification badges for those who pay.

The new membership, which is largely geared toward content producers, will cost $11.99 per month ($14.99 if paid through the iOS app). The subscription includes “proactive account protection, access to account assistance, and greater visibility and reaches,” according to a Meta spokeswoman in an email. It also comes with a verification badge.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement of the new product via his Instagram Channel, a recently launched service. Both Facebook and Instagram will have the option, but they will require separate subscriptions.

In order to diversify their highly dependent advertising businesses, social networking sites have become increasingly popular with subscription options in recent years. Snapchat Plus is a product offered by Snap Inc., while Twitter Inc. is currently promoting a subscription service with account verification as a key selling factor.

The majority of Meta’s income comes from advertising, but this source of income can fluctuate greatly depending on the state of the general economy. For example, the commencement of the epidemic and last year’s war in Europe and spike in inflation both had a significant negative impact on Meta’s business. A stream of income that is more reliable comes from subscriptions.

Yet, it’s uncertain whether customers would want to pay for formerly free services. Twitter’s membership service hasn’t gained much traction. The “enhanced visibility” component of Meta’s subscription plan may be its most important feature. Nowadays, it’s harder to stand out on Facebook or Instagram, even among a user’s own followers. The firm has begun to steer users toward additional content that they might find interesting, rather than only content from people they follow.

According to the corporation, increased visibility will result in “prominence in specific platform areas, such search, comments, and recommendations.” Meta will need users to authenticate their identification with a government ID in order to acquire a verification badge, in contrast to Twitter, which does not do so through the subscription.

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