Are you willing to pay to be on social media? Well, according to a recent announcement from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and Instagram will now have a subscription service to display a blue verification check.
Currently, the blue check is displayed on profiles of notable people to verify their identity — profiles like celebrities or political figures who need to be distinguished from fake or fan accounts. Blue checks were created in 2009 on Twitter, and since then have been incorporated into nearly every popular social media site.
Last year, Twitter introduced a service called Twitter Blue, which allows for paid verification. It was unveiled in November 2022, but was paused for a month because of backlash. People used it to impersonate celebrities and companies. People were quick to point out that Twitter Blue essentially made blue checks useless, because anyone could have one as long as they paid.
Many memes were created, and it was even mocked by the social media platform Tumblr, which allowed for people to get blue checks for a one time fee at 7.99 — as many as they wanted. Some profiles had up to 10 checks on their profile, for no reason whatsoever.
“This is not a verification status; it’s an Important Blue Internet Checkmark, which in 2022 is just as legit. Also the Important Blue Internet Checkmark may turn into a bunch of crabs at any time.” Tumblr joked.
So, with all that backlash and mockery, why are Facebook and Instagram creating their own version of Twitter Blue, called “Meta Verified”?
Meta Verified will cost $11.99 per month if purchased on the web or $14.99 per month if purchased via the company’s iOS apps, according to Fast Company. In addition to having the little blue checkmark on your profile, it’ll also “get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” said Zuckerberg.
When Instagram and Facebook have had a notorious issue with customer service, this feels like a problem — why do you need to pay to access better support?
In addition, to avoid false impersonation, Zuckerberg says that getting a blue check will require proof of photo ID. But this just adds extra concern of privacy issues. There’s no way to know if they’ll use this government ID elsewhere, or risk getting leaked.
Both Twitter and Facebook have been concerned as sites that rely on ad revenue deal with a weakening ad market. So it makes sense that they are using more subscription services to increase the money they make, but are blue checks really the way to go?
By Caileigh Winslade, Senior, ChiArts
Instagram @fairytwist / Twitter @silverrebi
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