Meta like Twitter, the blue tick is paid for

Meta, like Twitter, is also launching its own paid version. It’s called Meta Verified and will allow you to get the much-coveted blue tick, on Facebook and Instagram, and also greater visibility and reach. Here are some thoughts.
You can’t say that last weekend was boring, at least as far as the social media landscape is concerned, which is increasingly becoming a paid place, unlike how we have always known it.
And so, while Elon Musk’s latest move to make 2-factor authentication (A2F) via SMS a paid feature in addition to the Twitter Blue subscription was being discussed, Mark Zuckerberg, through his channel on Instagram (the broadcast channel launched last week) launched Meta Verified, i.e., a paid version, for Facebook and Instagram, that for a monthly fee allows access to additional features. Let’s see which ones.
In the meantime, there is a point to be made. Many have noted the near coincidence of the two announcements, Twitter’s and Meta’s, within hours of each other, but it is not possible to imagine Meta’s response to Twitter within, precisely, a few hours. it seems clear, as was already in the air, that Meta had been working on its paid version for some time.

Striking, and this is just a curiosity that may find some exquisitely corporate explanation, is the announcement made on a Sunday morning, U.S. time. Usually such announcements are made, more or less mid-week. It is probable that Meta opted to make the announcement with Wall Street still closed so that it could better test the reaction of the markets by having the week to itself. It may be that this observation is wrong on the merits, but the curiosity remains.
So, Meta Verified is the paid version of Facebook and Instagram that charges $11.99 per month if the subscription is subscribed via the web, or $14.99 per month if the subscription is subscribed via iOS app, likely to be extended to the Android app as well although no one from Meta has mentioned it. This is a test being launched, for now in Australia and New Zealand.

What does Meta Verified offer to subscribers, mainly creators?
As Meta specifies, subscribing to this premium version provides the coveted blue tick, “proactive account protection,” access to support and, focus on this last point, increased visibility and reach (the reach).
If we take a close look at what is proposed, the major difference with Twitter Blue (we use it as a yardstick for more clarity), as far as we can detect, is that account verification to get the blue tick is done through the presentation of a personal document, such as can be one’s ID or passport. This is a not insignificant difference that goes in the direction of countering, for real, the risk of impersonation of others and the possibility of hacking an account more easily.
You may remember the great flop last fall of the Twitter Blue blanket launch, without a modicum of scrutiny, and with the various fake accounts that, simply upon payment of $8, were able to get the blue tick and create fake accounts of companies or celebrities. Most egregious is the case of the company Lilly.
Why is this aspect important with respect to Twitter Blue? Simply because, even today, the blue tick obtained with the subscription is not done through document verification, which was always done with the old verification method, the one Musk wants to change because he considers it “corrupt.”

If Meta Verified is expanded to AR glasses, we will be able to tell whether someone is who they are
– Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 19, 2023

Thinking Meta launched this suddenly after seeing Twitter do something similar (Twitter’s attempt didn’t have any actual ID verification) is fanciful; the company has been working on personal/biz verification for years (my team worked on this for ads ’18-20 while I was there)../2
– Rob Leathern (@robleathern) February 19, 2023

I understand paying for a verification badge but “extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you” being an extra charge is absurd. Making sure your users aren’t impersonated and preventing misinformation shouldn’t cost extra.
– Mark Gurman (@markgurman) February 19, 2023

Facebook wants to charge $12-15 to verify identity & offer customer support. I’d think those functions should be core to the service, not premium. Also not good to follow in Musk’s footsteps. Should chose a color other than blue, which has Musk cooties.
– Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) February 19, 2023

Meta sees Twitter’s failing Twitter Blue idea and thinks “we should do that too”
– Matt Binder (@MattBinder) February 19, 2023

A relevant aspect, which will precisely affect creators, is the possibility of having, with Meta Verified, greater visibility and reach, specifically regarding “certain areas of the platform, such as search, comments and recommendations,” as Meta specified. This is a relevant consideration due to the fact that on Facebook today, as on Instagram, it is increasingly difficult to be able to scale the feed with relevant content. It is increasingly difficult to be able to be visible even to one’s own followers, and for creators this is a big problem that the company has always considered little. Now we understand why.
Now, as we have already mentioned, Meta is not the first company to embrace a paid version. Twitter is doing it, precisely, Snapchat is doing it with its Plus version, LinkedIn has been doing it since 2005 now, Telegram is doing it.
It seems clear that all companies that own social media platforms are aviating to consider paid forms to counter the financial crisis globally, resulting in mass layoffs, the difficulties that appeared after the pandemic, the failure to return on massive investments as was the case for Meta, which invested heavily in its vision of the Metaverse at an unpropitious time. And there is also a need to embrace new forms of revenue because of the decline in advertising.
From a user perspective, however, it is striking that Meta, which has always been considered the great mother of all social media, the one with the capital, the financial muscle, is launching its own paid version. And if Meta considers this route, it means that as of today users are a little less “the product.”
A final, almost bitter, point must be made.
Thinking about it, it only took a pandemic to realize that that business model, of acting almost uncontrolled and launched at lightning speed, was unsustainable, even for the most capable ones. The pandemic period exposed so much that was not working.
In between are the users who now find those containers of their existences a little less free. Perhaps, it is time to really rethink the way we relate to these platforms.

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