This new model will serve as a safeguard against exploitation of new creators and their work.
Meta, the parent company of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, has confirmed ‘Meta Verified’, a paid verification subscription service that will make it easy for users to verify their accounts. The model will initially be rolled out in Australia and New Zealand at $11.99 (around Rs 990) per month on the web, or $14.99 (around Rs 1,240) per month on iPhones.
Meta will verify a user's account with a government ID and award the account with a blue badge. Previously, Meta's blue badges were free and only available to prominent public figures or businesses.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced the launch of Meta Verified in a Facebook and Instagram post. “This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” he wrote in the post.
With the new model, one can get verified on both Instagram and Facebook. Once the profile is verified, users will get a blue tick next to their names (which means verified). Meta Verified will also offer an extra security feature to help authentic creators fight against impersonating accounts.
“Creators who have been struggling to get verified badges on Instagram and Facebook, will benefit from Meta Verified. It’s a great move for those who’re building their brands on social media, as spending $12 per month isn’t much,” shares Rajni Daswani, director - digital marketing, SoCheers.
According to Meta, the change will not affect public figures or others who have previously been verified. Meta Verified is intended for influencers and others who use social media for business but are not well-known public figures.
“There’s an opportunity from the perspective of a brand too. Some large brands have been spending a lot of money and, by default, have been verified. Smaller brands will now get great exposure value, as they won’t need to spend a lot of money to boost all their posts,” mentions Dr Kushal Sanghvi, India and SEA head, CitrusAd (a retail media platform for sponsored product and email ads, banners).
“Content creators who are not very well established, will be able to get recognition faster,” he adds.
Meta is thriving and growing, and this is another step by the platform to change the social media landscape. It may face some bottlenecks along the way, though.
Shubham Singhal, CEO of Dot Media, points out, “Considering the widespread creator economy and community, this new model serves as a safeguard against exploitation of these creators and their work.”
Meta confirmed this subscription model just weeks after rival platform Twitter relaunched a revamped version of its subscription service, Twitter Blue, under new owner Elon Musk.
How do these two platforms stack up against each other?
“With Twitter, we saw that it all backfired. While with Meta, there is a room for learning and getting it right. Meta has played it safe by releasing the model only in two countries, as of now. The platform’s approach is safe, as it’s releasing the model only to creators, and not businesses,” adds Daswani of SoCheers.
The new model may raise marketing costs, etc., but it won’t stop marketers from coming on these platforms.
Is the new model a part of Meta’s new business strategy to increase revenue sources, considering there was a dip in advertising last year?
“Meta has to re-strategise its Metaverse conversation, and focus on how it will bring tangible connectivity with the brand and user base. Only then will it be able to increase its market share,” says Alin Choubey, business had - North, FoxyMoron (Zoo Media).
According to Choubey, platforms, like Meta, will have to evolve on the technology front, to continue their revenue stream.
Additionally, as per media reports, Meta is under pressure from investors to diversify its revenue model, in part to reduce its reliance on digital advertising as inflation and recession have hit its core business. "98% of Meta's revenue comes from ad sales. They will want to diversify a little in case recession happens," adds Daswani.
If Meta cracks this model, will it be a game changer for the company?