Is Meta Verified worth it? For $15 a month, subscribers can become part of social media’s most elite network: verified users.
The Meta Verified subscription gives Facebook and Instagram users a blue badge next to their username, similar to the blue checkmark on Twitter. The idea is to increase the legitimacy of accounts with large followings and reduce impersonation. Currently, this program is open to individual content creators in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. In order to avoid flooding the platforms with verified users, Meta is currently asking users who want to be verified to join a waitlist.
Social media verification is used to show that an account is authentic, be it for a celebrity, politician, or influencer. Since an estimated 4.48 billion people use social media, the sheer volume of users out there makes it easy for ill-intended individuals to impersonate public figures. This is damaging for the person being imitated because the false account could post something that damages the victim’s reputation. It also hurts followers because they could be exposed to false information about a public figure. Just ask Eli Lilly, who saw a 4.37% fall in their stock after a fake account announced that they would be giving away free insulin. Clearly, there are many pros and cons to a Meta Verified subscription. Use the following list to decide for yourself if Meta Verified is worth it.
- Legitimacy: A Meta Verified subscription allows a user to prove their legitimacy to their followers. With a blue badge next to their name, followers know that they have gone through the verification process to prove their identity. Thus, Meta Verified helps prevent impersonation and ensures that only the content posted by the verified account is taken seriously. Impersonation is the most common social media scam, taking up a 40.7% share of all threats. It’s important for steps to be taken to reduce this crime, as it also reduces the legitimacy of social media platforms. If Instagram was suddenly overrun with fake accounts, no one would want to use it anymore. Meta Verified could be worth it to prevent something like that from happening.
- Exclusive features: Meta offers certain features only to verified users, adding to the air of exclusivity. These features include stickers to use on Facebook Stories and Instagram Reels, proactive account monitoring, and a dedicated support contact. The latter two features build upon maintaining the account’s legitimacy. Account monitoring is to keep an eye out for imposters or impersonators. The Meta team also assigns executives to provide support to verified users should any problems arise.
- Increased reach: The Meta Verified subscription provides increased reach for the user. This means that verified accounts will be prioritized in search results, comment sections, and recommended posts. This is especially beneficial to content creators who are trying to reach larger audiences. For those starting off with a smaller following, the boost in reach could be just what they need to kick off their career. Prior to this system, reach was based on the number of followers, hashtags used, or amount of engagement with the content. Meta Verified users will change up the game and allow fresh, new content to be circulated more easily.
- Expensive: The subscription cost adds up, as users have to pay for Instagram and Facebook separately. The price also varies depending on what type of device you are using, costing $11.99 on the web and $14.99 with Android or iOS. The two subscriptions are virtually the same, with the mobile version being priced higher due to payouts owed to app stores. Nevertheless, a Meta Verified subscription could cost up to $30 per month for both Instagram and Facebook verification on a mobile device. Compared to free access without verification, this cost may not be worth it to some. Charging users for a Meta Verified subscription also brings up questions about accessibility. Should individuals who cannot afford verification be barred from a blue checkmark?
- Subscription process: The process to subscribe to Meta can be inconvenient and rigid. Users must be 18 years old and show a government-issued ID that matches the name they are using on Instagram and Facebook. If they want to change their name, they will lose their verification. This process is especially discriminatory toward individuals who no longer use their government name, such as transgender and nonbinary people. Additionally, content creators and celebrities who are underage will not be able to gain verification, making them more susceptible to impersonation. Since their followers are likely of a similar age, this could be harmful. Young people are often already more at-risk for scams on social media. 14,919 scam incidents were reported by people 19 and younger to the FBI in 2021.
- Decreased credibility: As verification becomes accessible to more people, it dilutes the credibility of those accounts that were verified before the Meta subscription was introduced. Those that worked hard to gain followers and influence will now be on the same playing field as smaller users who are paying for those benefits. It also becomes an “if everyone can have it, I don’t want it” situation. If just anyone can get a blue badge by their name, influencers who have been working hard for the recognition may no longer be motivated.
Is Meta Verified Worth It?
The jury’s still out on whether Meta Verified is worth it. It seems to be more of an individual decision since there are specific features that could greatly benefit some. For content creators especially, a Meta Verified subscription could be the key to reaching a larger audience and becoming the next big thing. Public figures would enjoy the increased security and account support to keep impersonators at bay, however, they may not care about exclusive features or increased reach. Additionally, the cost and strict subscription process brings up questions of inclusivity and accessibility.
It’s important to note that there’s no guarantee that a Meta Verified subscription will up your social media game. In fact, Instagram issued a statement saying, “A verified badge is not a symbol to show importance, authority or subject matter expertise.” This shows that though verified badges prove legitimacy, the content that each user posts is still up to their discretion. Nevertheless, Meta’s efforts to reduce social media scams are noteworthy. Trusting the system is what keeps social media going, and verification helps build that.
Establishing a digital marketing strategy for you or your business can be overwhelming. Advice from experts can help you gain significant results. Coalition Technologies is an industry leader in SEO and digital marketing. Our experts offer a free strategy review to help you reach a wider audience.