Many would call Mark Zuckerberg a genius. After all, he has created one of the biggest digital businesses in history. However, he also makes some downright terrible decisions — we’re looking at you, Metaverse — and his most recent one can be added to that list. Taking the lead from Elon Musk, Zuckerberg is introducing a monthly fee to become verified on Instagram and Facebook. Yes, really.
Whereas the coveted blue ticks used to be for actual companies/businesses, celebrities and public figures, and those with large public followings, now anyone can get in on it if they’re willing to shell out the cash. In fact, you’ll need to shell out $11.99 per month on the internet or $14.99 on iOS (???) if you want the privilege.
What does the verification fee get you on Instagram and Facebook?
So, what do you get for that money besides a blue badge? Not much. Meta Verified, as Zuckerberg is dubbing the feature, requires you to send a copy of your government ID to the megacorporation so they can “verify your account.” Besides selling your personal info on even further, you’ll also get “extra impersonation protection.” Because, you know, everyone wants to pretend they’re Sally Smithers who you went to high school with.
The only halfway interesting “feature” (read: basic feature of customer service for most businesses) is that Meta Verified will reportedly get you “direct access” to customer support. “This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Zuckerberg said. It’s nothing to do with the company’s attempt to scrape back the $13.7 billion they lost on the Metaverse in 2022 alone. No way, Jose!
For now, not everyone has the privilege of paying the verification fee for Instagram and Facebook even if they want to. That feature is rolling out in Australia and New Zealand first, with other regions to follow. This might be the nail in the coffin that sends many people off Zuckerberg’s apps for good.