Elon Musk seems to have started a trend when it comes to charging users for the right to have a “fancy” little blue checkmark next to their name on Twitter. The CEO decided that he needed to find every possible way to make the social platform profitable, including the simplest of feature it seemed. As laughable as it seemed, Mark Zuckerberg appears to agree with the idea as Meta gets ready to do the same for Facebook and Instagram.
At the moment, the feature is in testing and there is no absolute final decision on what will happen to accounts that already have verified status. But you can likely expect that this status will go away unless you pay up, once the new “Meta Verifies” program rolls out to everyone in the near future.
Instead of verification status being free (as it should be), the company will be charging users $11.99/month via the web or $14.99/month via mobile in order to have the privilege to wear the blue check mark on their profiles that shows they have been verified. Users would have to provide a government-issued ID in order to become verified and it does come with some extra “perks”, like protection from impersonation and access to tech support.
Meta says the new paywall will help so that “more people can trust the accounts they interact with are authentic”. That, and so that the company has another way of making those sweet sweet dollar bills, ya’ll. Because in the end, everything is always about money. This allows the company to get paid to offer protection services (growing up in New York, that sounds familiar) vs implementing proper anti-spam/bot and fake account systems in order to create a valuable and safe online social platform/product for everyone.
Thankfully, most users won’t care about getting the checkmark on their profile. This will mostly be targeting professionals, celebrities, influencers, and companies. People who might be at the most risk of being impersonated on the internet. Perfect profiles to be extor…I mean, marketed these protection services. While other social platforms, you simply just have to report these profiles and prove yours is real by simply liking it via API or special files uploaded to your website. A service that is almost always, free.
To be fair though, companies like Meta have been feeling the pinch as user privacy continues to become a popular topic, leading to pressure from government regulation and device companies (ie, Apple, Samsung) who seek to protect their users further from data sharing. This leads to a decrease on potential profit from ads and the sharing of user data to other companies. So platforms like Facebook and Instagram are forced to seek out new methods of building profit.
What are your thoughts on Meta moving toward a paid verification system and away from the standard free approaches? Do you think this system is a more secure approach to account verification? Do you think it is worth paying monthly or yearly for something that takes a few moments to verify something and move on? Am I overreacting to everything with my own personal opinions on the topic? Feel free to share your own thoughts below in the comments.