Since the introduction of Elon Musk as Twitter’s majority shareholder, the entrepreneur has introduced a number of different additions to change the face of Twitter and social media as a whole. With the introduction of verified subscriptions, where users now pay monthly fees in order to keep their verified status, Meta, owners of Facebook and Instagram, are launching its own version.
Meta has announced it’s launching its own version of Twitter’s Blue Tick called ‘Meta Verified’ for Facebook and Instagram where users pay a monthly subscription to be verified on the platforms.
On February 19, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that Meta is starting the rollout of its new ‘Meta Verified’ subscription service for Facebook and Instagram, starting in Australia and New Zealand. For a monthly subscription of $11.99 / month on web or $14.99 / month on iOS., Meta Verified lets users verify their account “with a government ID” in return for which they get a blue badge, i.e. extra impersonation-protection against accounts claiming to be them, plus direct access to customer support.
Meta says that the new feature “is about increasing authenticity and security across our services” and Mark Zuckerberg says that a blue badge “effectively find and remove any imposter accounts since we know which account is the real you.”
Platforms have suffered from the issue of false identity since their establishment, with anybody having access to create profiles freely without the need for identification. Imposter accounts on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter have proven to pose several problems, including:
- Imposter accounts often pretend to be someone else, such as a celebrity or a public figure, and use their name, image, or brand to mislead people into scam. This misrepresentation can damage the reputation of the person or brand being impersonated.
- Identity theft. Imposter accounts can also use stolen personal information to create fake accounts, which can lead to identity theft and other fraudulent activities, with many of these found guilty facing jail time.
- The spreading of misinformation. Imposter accounts can also spread false information, rumours or propaganda, which can harm individuals or groups and influence public opinion. If someone was saying information from an account pretending to be you, this could seriously effect you going forward.
- Imposter accounts can also use fake identities to harass or bully people, which can cause emotional distress and harm mental health.
- Security concerns. Imposter accounts can be used to gain access to personal information or to spread malware or viruses, which can compromise the security of social media users.
Many have made the same assumption that Mark Zuckerberg is trying to follow in the footsteps of Elon Musk and Twitter, with the ‘Blue Badge’ service appearing to be remarkably similar to Twitter’s ‘Blue’ service. Twitter’s Blue service, often referred to as ‘Blue Tick’ was originally introduced back in 2021 following reports that perhaps as much as 19 per cent of Twitter accounts could be fake and untrustworthy. A recent tweet suggesting that Meta’s ‘Meta Verified’ subscription service (Blue Badge) is essentially a copy of Twitter’s idea was met with a reply from Elon Musk saying that Meta’s move was “inevitable.”
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
For businesses who often use Facebook and Instagram as a means of advertising, the ‘Blue Badge’ may be a strategic method of gaining new customers. That said, the Meta Verified service is just in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, so it remains to be seen what kind of reaction there is to it, and how successful it looks likely to be if rolled out elsewhere.
It may initially be more useful and more popular among some user groups than others, e.g. celebrities, political leaders, well known businesses, and content creators wanting to increase their presence on Facebook and Twitter. For those who subscribe to Meta Verified if it is to be introduced for anyone to have, it may be the case that access to customer support is a large part of the real value of the service, and not just the blue badge.
Smaller businesses who use Facebook to advertise products or services have suffered endlessly for years with these problems mentioned earlier (misrepresentation, identity theft, security concerns…etc), so maybe this is a step in the right direction for Facebook and Instagram. If you would like to know more information surrounding the Meta and their Facebook and Instagram channels, then make sure to contact us via our website today, we’d be more than happy to answer any queries you may have!