After initially launching its Meta Verified subscription program in Australia and New Zealand back in February, then expanding it to North American and UK users a month later, Meta’s now also giving users in India the option to buy a blue checkmark for their Facebook and Instagram presence.
As shown in this sequence, Meta Verified, its own attempt at a Twitter Blue-like monthly subscription offering, requires users to provide photo ID to prove their identity, then set up a recurring monthly payment of $US11.99 per month on the web, or $US14.99 in-app (accounting for respective App Store charges) to get a blue checkmark in each app.
Note that you have to subscribe in each app, as a single Facebook or IG Verified subscription will not give you a checkmark in both – so if you really want to juice up your Meta app presence, you’re looking at $US23.98, per month, or $US287.76 per year, at minimum, for verification, and an inflated sense of perceived importance.
Which is likely not worth it, but then again, for some, maybe it is…?
You do also get a few other features for your monthly payment, including:
- Proactive account protection from impersonation
- Dedicated account support from Meta’s team
- Exclusive stickers for Facebook and Instagram Stories and Facebook Reels
- 100 Stars a month to allocate to other creators on Facebook
The dedicated account support element could be particularly valuable, especially for those that have had issues with their Meta account, and there have already been reports of people signing on for a month just to get this benefit, enabling them to solve a long-standing issue, then they let it lapse.
So there are different aspects to consider, and maybe there is increased value, aside from the blue checkmark, which is steadily losing its value as paid programs hollow out its relevance.
What you won’t get from Meta Verified, however, is increased reach for your posts, something that Meta initially offered within the program - and that Twitter now provides for Twitter Blue subscribers within the main ‘For You’ feed. But after a brief test of this element, Meta removed the reach incentive from the program, likely because it cannibalizes its own ad offerings to some degree, or it negatively impacted the user experience.
Meta hasn’t explained why it removed this element as yet.
And while we don’t have any official numbers from Meta on the initial take-up of the Meta Verified offering, the expansion of the program does seem to suggest that it has been popular, with India offering significant new opportunities for Meta on this front.
India is Meta’s fastest-growing user market, and is now well ahead of the US as Facebook’s top user region, with over 300 million Indian Facebook users. Given its rapid growth and popularity, there’ll undoubtedly be a lot of Indian users that are keen to sign up to Meta Verified, and get an increased level of credibility in the app. And while selling verification ticks has lessened the value of the checkmark in western markets, the relative immaturity of the Indian digital ecosystem could mean that this is less of a factor here, which could see even higher take-up of the program.
Which would be great for Meta, as it continues to shovel billions into its VR and metaverse development. Some have said that this week’s preview of Apple’s Vision Pro headset will likely also impact Meta’s growth projections on this front, though I maintain that Meta is better placed, with its coming Quest 3 headset, which has very similar functionality to the Vision Pro, set to hit the market at a significantly lower price point, which will lead to increased take-up.
But either way, Meta is still losing money, and rationalizing costs – and as such, any new income streams are a bonus.
Launching Meta Verified in India could be a big step in boosting the income from this element, while Meta notes that it’ll also launch Meta Verified in Brazil soon.