Facebook Follows Twitter’s Lead and Debuts Paid Blue Check

Facebook is rolling out its paid subscription service—Meta Verified. Know what is currently happening and how this can affect local businesses.

Social media users are familiar with Twitter Blue—a paid subscription released by its CEO Elon Musk, which is an opt-in, paid monthly subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account. Not one to miss out, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta-owned Facebook, did the same by debuting their latest product: Meta Verified.

Just like its counterpart on Twitter, Meta Verified is “a subscription service that lets you verify your account with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” which Zuckerberg explained in his Facebook post. 

The Meta CEO also emphasized that the main purpose of this latest product is to ensure authenticity and increase security for its users. With that being said, this subscription is priced at $11.99 per month (around PHP 659) on the web or $14.99 per month (around PHP 824) on iOS. And the first countries that will be experiencing this service include Australia and New Zealand. 

Meta Verified: A Not-So-Good Idea?

While it hasn’t been a day since Zuckerberg announced this service, it has already generated buzz all over the internet. With more than 300,000 reactions, 66,000 comments, and 35,000 shares, the Facebook community seems to have mixed receptions to the new feature. Some said that they would happily subscribe, some hated the idea, and the rest made fun of the announcement.

A user is skeptical about the real purpose of the Meta Verified.
Another user expressed disappointment about the news.
A commenter begging to exempt her own country from the rolling out of the subscription service.

Most of the disappointed and negative comments have common themes, which include the necessity of the service in the social network, the affordability of the subscription, and the real purpose of the product. 

On the other hand, Zuckerberg’s announcement did not mention anything about imposing the subscription service on all Facebook users. All he said was they are rolling out a paid subscription service, which is not mandatory for all Facebook users, as the blue checkmark is actually seen as a privilege and a status symbol for corporate and personality pages and to guarantee authenticity when used properly.

But for now, users must watch out if ever subscription service will be obligatory to access Facebook. 

Same Game Plan as Elon Musk

In 2022, the Twitter world was taken by surprise when Elon Musk acquired the social network for a $44 billion-dollar deal. It was remembered that many Twitter users showed disdain towards Elon and his vocal political expressions. While he did not explicitly express his political ideologies, his tweets were taken as divisive.

What’s more, Musk rubbed more salt into his detractors’ wounds when he purchased Twitter. And one of his first points of action was to implement a paid subscription to be verified in the platform. “Twitter Blue is our premium subscription service that elevates quality conversations on Twitter,” stated the social network. 

Once subscribed to Twitter Blue, users can enjoy features like a blue checkmark, edit tweet, bookmark folders, custom app icons, NFT profile pictures, and themes, among others. Twitter offers these features for only $8 per month (around PHP 440)—67% cheaper than what Facebook will be charging for its new paid subscription.

Seeing the similarities in these two subscription services, some Facebook users funnily expressed that Zuckerberg got his idea from Musk.

A user jokingly implied that Zukerberg got the idea from Elon Musk.
Another commenter wrote how Zuckerberg had the same move as Musk.

What This Means for PH Business Owners

As of writing, the subscription service is starting to roll out in New Zealand and Australia. While it still isn’t available in the Philippines, there’s no telling when the country will experience this latest service. However, as early as now, business owners can think about whether or not their business page will need a blue checkmark, as this subscription service is another expense in the monthly payables.

With that being said, the benefits need to be considered, as well as whether it is even a requirement for business operations and branding. An evident advantage of the latest Facebook service is that it will prevent customers from transacting with bogus sellers or brand impersonators. Also, it can increase brand trust and credibility.

However, given how the only requirement for the coveted blue check is a monthly fee, this can also be misused by impersonators, resulting in misrepresentation with detrimental effects in extreme cases.

If the business cannot shoulder the monthly subscription fees, it can resort to clear customer communication. Be intentional and aggressive in awareness campaigns. Regularly remind the target audience about the brand’s reputation and services, and perhaps the business can live without the paid blue checkmark.