As announced by the Meta team at their Conversations conference in Mumbai, Meta Verified for businesses will provide another way for brands to add more authority to their account, by buying a verified checkmark, even if the process of selling checkmarks lessens the value of the marker.
Which is the same criticism we’ve had of X’s ‘X Premium’ offering, that in selling checkmarks, you’re eroding any perceived reputational value that they may provide. But clearly, both X and Meta are generating enough interest in their paid verification packages to keep expanding them, with Meta also looking to sell business verification at a slightly higher price point.
The current Meta Verified package for individual creators costs $US11.99 per month, per platform, when purchased on the web, or $US14.99 when you subscribe within the app. Meta’s verification for business package will cost $US21.99 per month per Instagram account or Facebook Page when purchased on the website, or $US27.99 for each via mobile sign-up. And interestingly, Meta’s also looking to offer a combination package this time around, priced at $US34.99 for verification of both your Facebook and IG business pages.
Right now, there’s no such package deal for individual creators, you have to pay for both separately to get checkmarks in each app. Which means you’re looking at $US24.98 per month, at a minimum, for both.
UPDATE: Meta has actually added a combined package for Facebook and Instagram verification for creators, which costs $US19.99 per month (via web), and is now available in all regions.
So for businesses, it costs slightly more, though it’s a lot less than X’s $US1,000 per month Verification for Organizations package, and it also offers much the same elements, including this interesting variable in the bottom right:
“Get discovered in new ways by being featured as a Meta Verified business”
That could be interesting.
In the initial Meta Verified package for creators, Meta had included an offer of “increased reach” for verified accounts, but then it quickly removed it after early testing. Meta hasn’t explained why it got rid of this element (note: X Premium gives subscribers additional exposure benefits), but this new addition for businesses sounds somewhat similar, though there’s no further detail as to exactly what it means as yet, and how verified businesses will get this additional exposure in each app.
Maybe Meta will add new Meta Verified showcase panels in the main feed, or it’ll provide special signifiers in its discovery elements. Whatever it is, it could be a valuable lure for brands, who are no going to be interested in this offering.
Because any added credibility will no doubt help, though again, the more businesses and creators that sign-up, the less valuable the checkmark will become, as users come to understand that anyone, and any business, can just buy a blue tick, and it doesn’t actually signify credibility or trust like it once did.
But it’ll get Meta a few bucks, and after running the program for the better part of a year, it’s obviously okay with any potential negatives.
Though hopefully, Meta’s also expanding its support staff in step. A report this week from The Information suggests that many people who’ve paid for Meta’s Verified package thus far have been less than satisfied with the direct support offering, with access to human assistance becoming more limited over time, as more users sign up.
Presumably, Meta’s aware of this, as the human support element is a key lure for many, and it’s going to get even more stretched as brands sign on as well.
Meta also notes that existing verified badge holders won’t be impacted by this expansion, unlike X, which has removed the badges for all non-paying users. WhatsApp verification will also, eventually, be included in the offering.
As noted, selling verification checks seems like a flawed strategy, in that it effectively reduces its own value over time, but there has always been demand for these in-app markers, and as a means to drive some easy additional revenue, I can see why both X and Meta are going with it. But it still seems like a road to nowhere, which, over time, will lose value.
Or Elon Musk is right, and eventually, we’ll all be paying to subscribe to social apps, and this is just the beginning of that next push. I guess, really, it depends on take-up, and if we reach a tipping point, where more businesses are verified than those that aren’t, maybe then it’ll become a more critical offering for all brands.
Or it could go the other way, as it has on X thus far, and fewer businesses bother to sign on, because it doesn’t actually mean anything. Then you have to look at other motivators to boost interest, which is why X is reportedly considering charging all users instead.
Whatever it may be, it seems like we’re going to find out, as Meta’s Verified for Business package is coming sometime soon.