In a bid for fresh revenues, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has announced plans to begin rolling out a new paid verification subscription program that will grant a blue badge to those willing to shell out a monthly fee for the distinction.

The program follows in the steps of a similar effort launched by Meta competitor Twitter in December that charges a monthly fee for users who want to display verified account credentials.

In a Sunday Facebook post, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote the optional Meta Verified service offers additional benefits on top of the “blue badge” that will appear on user accounts of new subscribers.

“This week we’re starting to roll out Meta Verified — a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services. Meta Verified starts at $11.99 / month on web or $14.99 / month on iOS. We’ll be rolling out in Australia and New Zealand this week and more countries soon.”

Meta says Facebook and Instagram accounts that are already verified based on prior requirements, including authenticity and notability, will not need to sign up for the new service.

Initially, Meta Verified will only be available to individual account holders, not businesses, and is aiming to “make it easier for people, especially creators, to establish a presence so they can focus on building their communities on Instagram or Facebook,” according to a Meta blog post.

Here’s what you get for your monthly subscription as a Meta Verified user, according to Meta:

  • A verified badge, confirming you’re the real you and that your account has been authenticated with a government ID.
  • More protection from impersonation with proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.  
  • Help when you need it with access to a real person for common account issues.
  • Increased visibility and reach with prominence in some areas of the platform — like search, comments and recommendations. 
  • Exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways. 

It’s worth noting that users who have accounts on both Instagram and Facebook will have to pay separate subscription fees if they want to sport the verification badges on both accounts, and the $14.99 monthly rate applies to iOS and Android users.

Meta is working on a financial comeback from 2022, a year that saw its stock value plummet by 64% and its virtual reality division, which oversees the company’s metaverse development, suffer almost $14 billion in losses. The slump followed a stellar 2021 in which the company hit its all-time high stock price amid heavy growth over the calendar year. Looking for ways to trim costs and boost revenues after a dismal 2022, Meta announced in November it had plans in place to lay off some 11.000 workers, about 13% of its staff. And in an earnings report released earlier this month, Zuckerberg, aiming to steady investors, declared 2023 the “Year of Efficiency” for the company.

Meta stock is up over 40% since the start of 2023 and was trading at just over $172 per share at the close of regular trading on Tuesday.