Meta has announced that it’s making its new Meta Verified program available to users in the US, which means that American users will now be able to purchase a blue checkmark on Facebook or Instagram for $US11.99 per month on the web, or $US14.99 in-app, accounting for respective App Store charges.
As you can see in this sequence, Meta Verified requires users to provide photo ID to prove their identity. Once that element is approved, you can sign-up to the program which will give you:
- A verification tick on Facebook or IG
- 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
Interestingly, however, Meta has removed one element - for now, Meta is putting a pause on the addition of increased reach for Meta Verified profiles, as it assesses the best way forward for this aspect. Meta hasn't provided detail on why this element is being held back, but it seems that this feature has proven problematic in some respects.
Note also that this relates to Facebook or Instagram – as per the Meta Verified guidelines, you actually need to sign up to each platform separately to get a checkmark on each,
So you’d be paying at least $US23.98 per month to get a blue tick in both apps, which equates to $US287.76 per annum to buy the perception of credibility.
Or whatever value the blue tick might hold for you personally. The biggest query about the Meta Verified program, along with Twitter’s Blue subscription package, is that once you start selling the blue checkmark, it immediately loses the only thing that makes it valuable, in exclusivity, and that element is then further diluted with every person who signs up to the program.
Which seems like a pathway to nothing – but then again, Twitter’s bringing in an extra $2.4 million per month through Twitter Blue subscriptions thus far, and with the platform losing ad dollars, it definitely needs it.
Meta, too, is losing out due to the broader economic downturn, which has forced it to cut staff and shelf various projects, as it realigns its priorities. Just this week, Meta announced that it will be eliminating another 10k roles, in addition to the 11k it culled last November, in order to reduce its ongoing obligations.
So Meta also needs the extra cash, and it evidently doesn’t see this being a dilution of the value of the blue tick. Or it doesn’t care, because some people will pay - many users have been keen to get their own authority stamp in each app for many years, and they will pay up just to get it, while the addition of access to in-person support is also a valuable benefit, given how hard it is to actually get someone from Meta on the line.
And really, as many have noted, the qualification and approval process for a blue checkmark has been muddled up for a long time anyway. Sometimes you’ll see somebody you’ve never heard of with a blue tick, while there are various reports of Meta and Twitter staffers in the past approving friends’ profiles, or taking under-the-table payments for verification ticks.
If the system’s already broke, both companies may as well profit, right? That appears to be the pervading logic, but again, the dilution of what the checkmark means could actually end up being significant, especially if you want people to keep paying, month after month, year after year.
Already on Twitter, it’s becoming a lesser indicator of anything, because you now know that anybody can buy a tick. Now, when you see a checkmark account, you’re less likely to pay attention, because it’s probably just some Elon fan who’s paying to amplify his random thoughts.
The same will happen on Facebook and IG too, and over time, it seems likely to become a less valuable offering.
But we’ll find out – Meta Verified is now available to US creators. You can sign up to register your interest here.