Have you heard the news? Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has just launched a new paid verification service in the United States. The service, called “Meta Verified,” is similar to Elon Musk’s Twitter Blue service and will give users a blue tick on their profile for a monthly fee of $14.99 on iOS and Android devices or $11.99 on the website.
This new feature aims to provide more authenticity and security across Facebook and Instagram. Users must be at least 18 years old to subscribe to the Meta Verified service. They must submit a government ID for impersonation protection, direct access to customer service, and the coveted blue tick.
It’s worth noting that this move comes hot on the heels of Meta’s recent announcement that it would be laying off 10,000 employees. Meta seems to be looking for new ways to generate revenue outside of advertising as advertising revenue continues to decline.
Meta Verified was tested in Australia and New Zealand for two months before launching in the US. While it’s a step away from Facebook’s well-known motto, “If the product is free, then you are the product,” it’s not the first social media network to offer paid verification as a revenue stream. Silicon Valley rivals Snap, Telegram, and Twitter have all introduced paid verification services to generate revenue outside of advertising.
The Meta Verified service is certainly not without its controversies. For instance, in November, Twitter launched a verification process, only to quickly abandon it after the blue tick system was used to impersonate politicians and celebrities. The company later re-launched Twitter Blue with different colored ticks for individuals, companies, and governments.
Moreover, while having a blue tick on your profile may increase credibility and lead to more followers and collaborations, the cost may deter some users. Furthermore, some users may see the blue tick as elitist, leading to a further divide between verified and non-verified users.
In conclusion, while the Meta Verified service may have pros and cons, it’s a step towards a more authentic and secure social media experience. However, verification alone does not combat fake accounts and bots. Social media companies must continue investing in developing better algorithms and tools to detect and remove these accounts.