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Kenyans to pay for Facebook and Instagram verification

By Neema Amani February 20th, 2023 2 min read

Social media giant Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that Kenyan users will now have to pay for blue badges on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

The company will adopt a Twitter-like strategy of charging a subscription fee for verification, with different pricing models for the web, Apple’s iOS, and Android.

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Meta Verified, a subscription service that lets users verify their account with a government ID, get a blue badge, and get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be them, will now cost Ksh1,500 per month for the web and Ksh1,900 per month for Apple’s iOS and Android.

The move is aimed at helping content creators grow and build their audience, according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who added that the verification fee is aimed at making direct access to customer support available to billions of people.

However, the move has not been well received by some users who believe that verification should be a given right.

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A Facebook user identified as Mark Nathaniel questioned why users should have to pay for verification, stating that the feature should be part of the core product.

Zuckerberg responded by saying that Meta already provides some support and protection and that the verification fee will enable them to provide direct access to customer support.

The rollout of Meta subscription charges will begin gradually, starting with Australia and New Zealand before unveiling the service in the United States and other countries.

Other social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Telegram, have already introduced verification subscription fees, charging Ksh625 and Ksh500 respectively, as social media giants look for ways to increase revenue amid decreasing advertising revenue.

Twitter, for instance, charges Ksh1400 per month for verification, meaning that content creators will have to pay Ksh5,200 monthly to maintain blue badges on the platforms. Meanwhile, TikTok announced it would roll out a paywall, charging Ksh125 for people to view videos on the platform.

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