Following in the footsteps of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users in the UK have become the first in Europe to pay for verification status.
Whatever you might think about him, we can all agree that Elon Musk hasn’t become one of the richest people in the world by chance.
When he took over Twitter in the autumn of 2022, one of the reasons he cited was to help the platform - which until that point had been completely free for users - make more money.
Since then, his “Twitter Blue” subscription service has seen many users pay to acquire the once coveted blue tick - and the legacy accounts that had previously held them by merit and reputation being unceremoniously dethroned.
Those who are now paying for Twitter Blue subscription are given perks like being able to write tweets up to 10,000 characters long and having their content prioritised in the newsfeed - all for approximately €10 per month, depending on your country’s tax rates.
Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, Meta has decided to do the same with “Meta Verified” (sorry for anyone expecting “”Meta Blue”).
But much like the way in which the parent company of Facebook and Instagram suddenly started prioritising reels and shorts after sitting back and watching the exponential success of TikTok, the paid-for verification system all feels a little bit copycat as the cost-of-living crisis rages around the world.
What is Meta Verified?
The feature has already been implemented in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, but now it’s landed in the UK - and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of Europe follows suit.
Those with a Meta verified badge, the tech firm says, will have more protection. A post on Meta’s website from February describes it as “a subscription bundle on Instagram and Facebook that includes a verified badge that authenticates your account with government ID, proactive account protection, access to account support, and increased visibility and reach”.
Facebook and Instagram already have a verified badge for notable accounts, and according to Meta - and unlike Twitter Blue - this feature will remain.
How has Meta been making its money until now?
As with pre-Musk Twitter, most of Meta’s revenue has come from paid-for advertising by brands, creators and businesses. Advertising ranges from targeted content, video ads and Messenger ads.
While the verified badge will still be available across Meta channels without payment, this new tier gives the platform an alternate means of monetisation. And of course the big question remains: what will be next?