Let’s be real. Updates happen to social media on a regular basis and it can be difficult to keep up with. Recently, Meta announced their new feature called Meta Verified, which is resulting in mixed reviews from users.
This week, Meta announced their new opt-in, paid subscription will launch for testing in Australia and New Zealand. This monthly payment of $11.99-14.99 per month will allow a few things (per the Meta website):
- A verified badge, confirming you’re the real you and that your account has been authenticated with a government ID.
- More protection from impersonation with proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.
- Help when you need it with access to a real person for common account issues.
- Increased visibility and reach with prominence in some areas of the platform– like search, comments and recommendations.
- Exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways.
The chat feature with customer service is a great addition, which came directly from user feedback. As a business offering a paid feature, this makes sense to offer this direct link. (Meta is a business after all.) However, the concern the paid service will change how content is prioritized within the algorithm is legitimate. This can greatly change the strategy for accounts who choose not to pay, which is frustrating when it is not available to all users.
Twitter did the same thing not long ago and launched Twitter Blue, an opt-in, paid subscription feature. Twitter Blue adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select features. Previously, a blue checkmark meant you had an account that was authentic, notable and active (per Twitter’s Verified standards). Verified accounts stopped accepting applications in November 2022 and moved to Twitter Blue.
Now, on either platform, this may seem like a great idea because it can decrease the advancement for spam accounts. Sadly, accounts are often copied by fakes and the actual account owners are not always able to stop it. Often times, Meta claims it is because the fake account is not “violating any policies,” but that’s a whole other topic of conversation.
What does this mean for businesses and government agencies?
The biggest issue I see is for businesses is that business accounts are not yet eligible for Meta Verified. It is important to understand the impacts Meta Verified may have. Without a creator account and the name (your @ handle) being yours that matches your government-issued ID, verification is not possible at this time. So where does that leave government agencies who want to be verified and have or want that sacred blue check? In limbo, really. At least for the time being.
So what happens to that government agency who wants to protect their account from spammers? Unfortunately, that has not yet been determined.
It also begs the question: if all it takes is an ID and payment to become verified, does this water down the process? If you pay to play, you get all of the perks. Meta is a business itself after all, so there are some pros to considering the paid version. However, if not everyone is eligible, this could drastically change social media strategy as we know it.