3 min read

Meta Verified Lets You Buy A Blue Check on Instagram and Facebook

This is an industry where every interface is copied by every competitor. Features are unique until they’re not.

The problem with an $8 per month Twitter [Blue] experience is that we know other social media platforms will follow suit. And it’s just not sustainable for consumers.

Clubhouse created the audio social media interface. Within a year, we got Twitter Spaces, LinkedIn Audio Events, and Amazon Amp. TikTok (Vine before it) pioneered the vertical video format. Not long after there was Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.

Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, Clubhouse, Reddit, etc…

If you had to pay each one to use them monthly, what apps are you dropping? – Everydays 60

That was 127 notes ago on November 1, 2022, the week that Twitter introduced their paid Blue verification badges. Less than half a year later, the copycats have come out to play.

WTF? Paid Verification on Instagram and Facebook

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company is rolling out Meta Verified on Instagram and Facebook in the U.S. The subscription service, which first launched in Australia and New Zealand last month, allows users to add the coveted blue check mark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for a monthly fee. Meta Verified costs $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month on mobile.

“Meta Verified is rolling out in the US today,” Zuckerberg said on Friday in the Meta Channel on Instagram. “You can get a badge, proactive impersonation protection and direct access to customer support.”

You need to complete the verification process and provide a government-issued photo ID to confirm your identity. Meta Verified subscribers won’t be able to change their profile name, photo, username or date of birth unless they’re willing to complete the verification process again. – TechCrunch

Twitter Blue has somewhere in the area of 300,000 subscribers. Snapchat’s premium service Snapchat+ has over 2 million subscribers at $3.99/month – which they launched in June 2022 and periodically add new upgraded features to. Relatively speaking, these are failures. At least Twitter Blue.

Zuckerberg is a master copycat, though. Most of the features you’ll find on Instagram came from a competitor. IG Stories from Snapchat, Reels from TikTok, IG Live from Houseparty, etc… He’s better at copying than he is at producing, as seen with the metaverse.

But what Elon started, Zuck will probably figure out with Meta Verified. Primarily because buying a Blue Check on Instagram is much more highly sought after. Mashable broke a story in 2017 about the black market for buying Instagram verification badges, where people paid upwards of $15,000 to get the check. It mostly relied on insiders at Facebook taking bribes. That business still exists today.

Having that validation on Instagram carries a lot more social credibility, especially if you are in the creator economy or rely on Internet commerce. It’s simpler to grow your account with the blue check mark. Your comments and Lives get bumped further up the page.

Also, I think Meta Verified will work because of the sheer number of fake accounts on Instagram. Particularly for people with a little clout (but no blue check), fake accounts are rampant. Paying for this service comes with “proactive impersonation protection,” which sounds great in theory. I wonder how it will play out in practice, though.

Overall, trust is important and Meta needs to be transparent about why they’re creating this premium payment tier. Also, I’d like to know if they plan to throttle everyone who doesn’t pay.

I think they need to deem why they want to do this and be upfront about that in the beginning.

We won’t be happy if we find out years from now that we’re paying them so that they can sell our info to the US Government… And in the process, connecting our social media accounts to our social security numbers.

The best marketing slogan Zuckerberg ever said was that Facebook was about connecting people. That was 20 years ago. So what’s the new simple vision?

Because right now, everything seems disheveled and misguided. Ditching the metaverse vision for Generative AI. Laying off a quarter of your staff for a “year of efficiency. Not exactly sending a message of promise.

Ultimately, people will rock with Meta since they love Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. But at some point, the trust has to wear thin. Right?