Facebook and Instagram Start Hawking Blue Badges Ala Twitter

The popular Instagram and Facebook social media logos printed on paper and placed in the sand in front of the sea.

Meta allows users to pay for better traction in its apps’ algorithms.
photo: Tanha2001 (Shutterstock)

While Elon Musk’s Twitter wreaks absolute havoc with Paid Verification and Twitter Blue, rival Meta has emerged with a similarly ridiculous plan to make users pay for the privilege of proving on Facebook and Instagram that they’re who who they say they are. Additionally, Meta advertises that those who pay get access to a real customer service agent.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg took advantage of the long weekend to break the news, first announcing new paid subscription service “Meta Verified” in his on Sunday Instagram broadcast channel. Those users who pay $11.99 online or $14.99 through the iOS Store and give Meta a government ID can get a “blue badge” and additional identity protection against other accounts. The feature will first roll out in Australia and New Zealand, but plans to roll out to more countries “soon,” according to a company blog entry.

Meta said that the paid feature is specifically aimed at content creators and the paid feature should be shared by both Facebook and Instagram. Those users who previously have verified themselves with an ID should see no change to their accounts. Alongside a blue verified “badge,” Meta promised users they would get “more proactive” account monitoring for impersonators, as well as access to “a real person for general account issues.”

Those who spend the $12 each month also get cheaper on Meta’s algorithms, including search and recommendations. There’s also a hint of new exclusive features to “express yourself,” but it’s unclear if that means ways to spice up a creator’s page or if it includes new tools for sharing more content.

“Long term, we want to build a subscription offering that is valuable to everyone, including creators, businesses, and our community at large,” the company wrote on its blog.

While other apps like telegram and Snapchat have also introduced one subscription most of these other services offer access to new features or exclusive badges or games. So why should users pay for the ability to prove their legitimacy or even get access to a real customer service agent? Such features were once taken for granted and free for everyone, although of course the main feature that sells Meta is the ability to draw even more attention through the apps’ algorithms.

There is also the question of restricting account verification. There is a “minimum activity requirement” to be verified, but that likely relates to whether the user’s page is legit or a sham account. Gizmodo reached out to Meta to see if accounts previously cited for violating Facebook or Instagram policies would be banned from paying for verification, but we didn’t get an immediate response. There are many right-wing figures or malicious accounts that would do anything to become more prominent in users’ feeds.

Twitter’s own paid Twitter Blue verification has proven to be a lot less difficult than Musk had hoped. Leaked Documents showed that as of mid-January, fewer than 200,000 users had signed up for the $8 Twitter Blue. Of course, the system was marketed by Twitter to the entire Twitter user base, with Musk’s paid verification intended to break the vague “lords and pawns” dichotomy of the previous blue tick. This really didn’t work out as expected, and the blue tick was incredibly buggy. Some paid verification accounts maybe paid nothing at all.

https://gizmodo.com/facebook-instagram-meta-blue-badges-zuckerberg-1850139504 Facebook and Instagram Start Hawking Blue Badges Ala Twitter

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing zackzwiezen@ustimespost.com.

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