Meta is following in the footsteps of Twitter, allowing people to get the coveted Instagram blue tick (i.e. allowing them to be verified) by paying for it via a subscription.
When Twitter rolled out their version, it felt like I was watching a live train wreck. So now that the Meta Verification Subscription is officially being rolled out, I’m left with lots questions. Mainly, how does Meta is anticipating this rollout to go smoothly…
And is it really worth paying money for a blue check mark?
Meta initially started the roll out as a beta in Australia and New Zealand and recently we’ve started seeing it being offered to American account holders.
I’m over in Canada so it’s probably not going to reach us for like another year.
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I Have Some BIG Issues with Meta’s Verification Subscription
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The Original Purpose of The Blue Check
I know a lot of people get really hung up about the elitism of the blue check mark, regardless of what social media we are talking about, but the original concept was in the interest of the greater good.
The original purpose behind the verification badge was to easily distinguish notable figures. A celebrity, journalist, politician, somebody who comes up in the media a lot.
This made it easy for social media users to tell if the content posted was true and authentic to that individual.
For example, it makes sense why the general public would want to know that an announcement was genuinely posted by Beyoncé rather than an impersonator looking to scam her audience by selling fake tickets and merchandise.
Similarly, verifying magazine editors, politicians, journalists, makes sense.
The content that they put out can have a profound impact on the public. If they wasn’t that little blue tick by their name, think about how difficult it would be to fact-check information (or misinformation) spread by people posing as them.
We can’t dance around the fact that if everyone is verified, it kind of feels like nobody is.
What you get with Meta Verified
According to Meta, below are the perks that you get with your Meta Verification Subscription for the cost of $11.99 USD if you’re signing up on the web.
If you sign up on iOS, its $14.99 USD because Apple takes a 30% cut, and poor massive Meta just can’t bear to separate with that money, they put the expense back on their users.
I do appreciate that Meta is throwing in a few extra perks to their verified subscription. But the list of benefits just begs more questions.
So we are going to go through them one by one.
The big selling point; a verified badge (the blue tick/check).
In order to get the blue check mark, Meta will confirm that you are who you say you are based on your government ID and a selfie video, which has to match your profile name.
But what if you don’t operate under your legal name?
- Does that make me ineligible?
- Would I have to change my handle to my government name?
- Would I only then be able to verify one account?
- What are the details here?
While my government name is spread all across the internet, I know there are a lot of people who consciously do not operate under their name for privacy reasons.
And if they’re going to remain firm on the government ID matching your name, I think this will force a lot of creators to rebrand as themselves.
Protection from Impersonation
Next, they say signing up for the subscription will give you proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.
That makes me wonder, is Meta not doing anything about the bot and impersonation problem unless you’re paying them to?
To me, that just shows that they do not care for the average users of their platforms. Because the true victims of account impersonators aren’t actually the account holders themselves, it’s their followers who are being scammed out of money or personal information.
So other than the blue tick this has been the second biggest selling feature I’ve seen for the subscription service. That is because Meta has notoriously poor customer service, which I have been personally victimized by.
This is the only thing on the list that has made me consider paying for verification.
What I Think of Meta’s Support Services
I previously lost access to my Facebook business page and I would pay to never go through that again.
I scoured through forums, I tried everything on the Facebook help pages, and nothing worked.
The problem was, I didn’t know that Facebook had completely cut off all of its chat support features. Except to some of the really big business accounts.
The moment I heard that Meta was offering support services, I told myself that I would be signing up.
That I had to, to protect my business, and then I would do so begrudgingly, grumbling about how crappy it is that Meta gets to profit from its poor customer service.
But after reading this, I have some doubts and some questions.
- How does the support work?
- I feel like they have left this intentionally vague. Vague enough that I’m concerned they say that they’ll provide access to a real person for common account issues.
- What are they deeming as common?
- When I lost access to my Facebook page the problem could not be solved by any of the common or frequently asked questions on their page.
- Is this support in app?
- It’ll probably be an in-app chat button or something, and if that’s the case, if you lose access to your account for whatever reason, how will you get into your verified account to access the support?
- I would like to get clear on how you can access said help before I shell out money for it.
Increased Visibility and Reach
They have said that buying a verified badge will get you increased visibility and reach.
And all I hear is “pay to play”.
I don’t know how much time I want to spend on a social media platform where the content being prioritized is simply the content that people paid to have prioritized.
- Why do they think the average users, the base, would want that?
Look at how upset everybody was about a non-chronological feed.
Exclusive Features – Pay to Play
Finally, they have exclusive features. But what does that mean? Are you going to get early access to beta testing?
If so, looking at Meta’s track record of beta programs, I would not want to be a victim of that.
After digging into this more, I have been left with many more questions.
And I’ve also been left with the feeling that this is truly just a money grab and a step towards making Instagram more of a “pay-to-play” environment than it already is.
Which is just going to be a detriment to an already shaky IG Meta experience.
Final Thoughts on Paying For Meta’s Blue Tick
In the end, I do still see it as a form of insurance for your business. Especially if your business is your social media presence.
But I do think it is unfortunate that they are messing with a verification system that is relatively consistent across all forms of social media.
Or at least was… until Twitter started messing with it.
What do you guys think? Let me know if you’ll be getting it when it rolls out to you.
Drop your thoughts below, and, until next time!