With Meta Verified, a payment model is in the starting blocks with which private users* receive a blue tick on Instagram and Facebook for a monthly fee. Speculation about a paid version of Instagram (and Facebook) has been around for a long time. Meta Verified is now being tested in Australia and New Zealand. But some questions immediately arise.
What Does Meta Verified Include?
As the name suggests, Meta Verified focuses on verification. It is also the main argument for why users will pay money. But there are other “benefits” that Meta Verified users get. This includes direct contact with Meta support, better protection against identity theft and fake accounts in your name, a more prominent display of comments, exclusive stickers for Instagram Stories and more frequent recommendations of your content in the Reels tab and Explore page.
It sounds good initially but also raises some questions and problems. For example, when prioritizing comments.
If comments from Meta Verified users are prioritized, then the opposite automatically applies to all other users who do not want to pay. The situation is similar to the content recommendations. Is this conducive to the comment culture and leads to better content recommendations? It is also a fact that users who do not pay are disadvantaged. This can lead to significant problems and dissatisfaction. At the same time, it does not value comments and content recommendations since this is paid for. So is Meta cutting itself in the flesh with this? There can be problems. This is probably also why Meta Verified is only tested in two countries.
Pay Up To $15 And Still Get Ads
Unlike YouTube Premium, ad-free is not part of Meta Verified. With Twitter Blue, it’s at least “less” advertising. Users pay up to $15 for Meta’s paid model (iOS) and still get the same ads in their feeds, stories, and reels. Understandable from a meta point of view. Many users would have to switch to the paid version to make the whole thing financially worthwhile for Meta. This cannot be assumed, so Metalures with the blue tick are in high demand. But what is it worth if anyone can buy it?
Criticism Of Meta Verified
Immediately after the announcement, Meta’s new approach was met with criticism. And the complaint is justified. Shouldn’t identity theft protection be a requirement? Many users criticized the announcement that you don’t have to pay for it, but this should be a matter of course. The same applies to support. The paid verification is also criticized. On the one hand, this reduces the “added value” of the previous warranty, and on the other hand, profiles should be protected, even if you don’t pay $15 for them. Meta Verified does not currently address companies and brands. It’s about private profiles. Creators who do not yet have a blue tick should be able to secure it via Meta Verified. This is also the target group of the offer.
On the one hand, people who want to pay for this should do so. On the other hand, treating accounts differently in terms of visibility is always a double-edged sword, especially when you’re paying for visibility. Comments and reels from large and mostly verified accounts generally get more visibility and are recommended more often. This advantage is lost as more people use Meta Verified. I can understand Meta’s approach, especially since there are more and more paid versions of social networks with YouTube Premium, Snapchat and Twitter Blue. The decisive factor is the implementation, the functions offered and the weighting compared to other users who do not pay. Unique stickers or more options on avatars are hassle-free premium features. But if it’s about preferring one just because it’s paid for, that can cause many problems.