With Meta Verified, Everyone Gets a Blue Checkmark...for a Price

Now Facebook and Instagram have a big blue checkmark too.
Now Facebook and Instagram have a big blue checkmark too. Screenshot
When Twitter first began providing verified accounts way back near the beginning of the startup, they made sense. Celebrities, public figures, journalists, these were all people who reasonably needed some level of protection for their identity, not just because of internet trolls though that is always a problem, but to lend credibility to whatever is posted that we can be mostly certain the person tweeting was or represented that person.

Sure, the "My account was hacked" became ubiquitous when anything bad streamed forth from a soon-to-be-canceled celebrity's tweets, but even then, it helped to track down the hacker (assuming there was one).

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter and released (then choked) and re-released the new paid blue checkmark service, that former credibility has taken a hit.

It comes as no surprise then that Meta, the Mark Zuckerberg enterprise that runs Facebook and Instagram, has jumped on board the pay-for-your-blue-checkmark brigade. Social media companies are looking for ANY way to monetize what appears to be a struggling if not outright dying business model and adding subscribers to their already plentiful user base is certainly one way to do that.

Twitter charges $11 per month while Meta is going with $12 or $15 depending on your platform. Discord, Reddit, YouTube and others have added similar subscription models to their services, but they tend to offer additional services and features. Meta and Twitter can only really offer you the check mark and the promise that you'll be more protected from online trolls (as well as maybe some limitation on ads?).

The problem with the blue checkmark for either service is that it really isn't doing much to combat people posing as others. Meta requires Verified users provide a valid form of ID to prove they are who they say they are. That's helpful, we suppose, but Meta was never the hotbed of impersonation the way Twitter is. And Twitter doesn't even require that. They just need you to have been on Twitter for 30 days and a few other rather benign requirements.

All-in-all, it is hard to see this will do anything for anyone other than take money from their pockets for the benefit of a blue checkmark that actually used to mean something on Twitter. The only thing it means now is that you have 15 bucks a month to shell out for it.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke