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Insta, FB users able to pay for blue tick

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Instagram and Facebook users will now be able to pay for a blue tick verification, parent company Meta has announced.

Meta Verified will cost $11.99 (£9.96) a month on web, or $14.99 for iPhone users.

It will be available in Australia and New Zealand this week.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta chief executive, said the move will improve security and authenticity on the social media apps.

The move comes after Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, implemented the premium Twitter Blue subscription in November 2022.

Meta’s paid subscription service is not yet available for businesses, but any individual can pay for verification.

Badges – or “blue ticks”- have been used as verification tools for high-profile accounts to signify their authenticity.

The subscription would give paying users a blue badge, increased visibility of their posts, protection from impersonators and easier access to customer service, Meta said in a post on their website.

The company told the BBC the change would not affect previously verified accounts, but noted there would be an increase in visibility for some smaller users who become verified thanks to the paid feature.

Allowing paying users access to a blue tick has previously caused trouble for other social media platforms.

Twitter’s pay-for verification feature was paused last November when people started impersonating big brands and celebrities by paying for the badge.

Meta said Instagram and Facebook usernames will have to match a government supplied ID document to be granted verification, and users will have to have a profile picture that includes their face.

Other websites like Reddit, YouTube and Discord similarly use subscription-based models.

Meta has not yet specified when the feature will be rolled out to other countries, although Mr Zuckerberg said in a post it would be “soon”.

In November, the company announced 11,000 job losses as a result of over-investment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the time, Mr Zuckerberg said he had predicted an increase in Meta’s growth based on the rise it had over the pandemic, but that ultimately did not happen.

“Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration,” he wrote, “I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments.”

Instead he said “macroeconomic downturn” and “increased competition” caused revenue to be much lower than expected.

“I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” he said at the time.

(BBC News)

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Registration compulsory for all money changers 

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The Central Bank has issued a notice making it compulsory for all money exchange institutions to be registered with the Central Bank and regulated by it. 

The CB order is in effect from 3 June 2024. 

The Central Bank states that all money changers who are currently not registered will now receive the opportunity to provide such services in a systematic and regulated manner. 

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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Govt. to privatise SriLankan as part of IMF programme – CEO

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The government, as part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, is looking to privatise several state-owned enterprises and one of those is the flag carrier of the island nation, said SriLankan Airline CEO Richard Nuttall.

Nuttal added that the airline is also looking for an investor. Three candidates have been finalised in April and the government is in talks with them.

Nutall said that no Indian company had shown interest in investing in the airline.

The airline hopes to grow its current fleet of 21 to 22 next month, with plans to obtain another three aircraft within the next three months.

Source: ANI

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