Short answer, yes. With a blue tick comes access to enhanced security features, increased visibility, comment prioritisation, better customer support, and more. But the question is – are people really buying it?
Until 2019, Meta’s younger, more accessible side had a decade-long slogan: ‘Free and always will be’. Its shift to ‘It’s quick and easy’ says a lot about its divergence from Facebook to the platform we know today.
With one broadcasted announcement of Meta’s new subscription service, Zuckerberg redefined the value of the blue badge previously reserved for public figures – and with it, this form of online social currency.
Premiered in Australia and New Zealand, Meta Verified is the recently-introduced $19.99 (monthly) feature designed to reduce account impersonation, boost security and enhance the user experience across the tech company’s services.
Offering greater exposure, comment prioritisation and direct access to customer support, the service implies a change in user priorities and the volatility of the digital landscape.
Most notably, it represents a shift in what verification means on Meta platforms and marks the point at which important security features and tech support became paid-for features.
Ask an online user stranded at a virtual help desk whether the move is worth it, and you’ll likely elicit a strong response (see below 👇).
As for those likely to have never become Meta-legit under its previous T+Cs, $19.99 on web and 24.99/month on iOS is a small fee for the clout offered by the coveted blue badge.
But for Zuckerberg’s critics, the move transgresses an unspoken online code, the fabric upon which the social media network depends. Social currency is earned, not bought.
Their argument? When verification comes at a monthly fee (instead of influence), it amounts to nothing more than a receipt, with former MVP accounts fading into obscurity – or in Meta’s case – a sea of blue ticks.
Bearing a striking resemblance to Musk’s Twitter Blue strategy, Meta Verified has experts watching LinkedIn closely to see if it will follow suit. And despite the inherently unpredictable nature of IT developments, one thing’s for sure; we’re likely witnessing the restructuring of the digital landscape and with it – aspects of social media as we know it.
A few weeks ago, we asked the Milkpeople of Instagram if they’d pay to be Meta Verified. The verdict was in, with 74% of respondents saying they wouldn’t move to the premium service. Now, we’re asking you: Is it worth it?
Words by: Shani Able