On Sunday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of a new subscription service for Facebook and Instagram called Verified. This service will offer users a coveted blue checkmark beside their name, indicating that their account has been verified and is therefore more trustworthy.
The service is launching in Australia and New Zealand this week, and will cost $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month on iOS. According to Zuckerberg, Verified is designed to give users more control over their online presence and help them build their personal brand. He stated that the blue checkmark has become a symbol of trust and credibility on social media, and that Verified will allow more people to benefit from this symbol.
However, the announcement has generated mixed reactions from social media users and experts. While some have praised the move as a way to help users stand out in a crowded online environment, others have criticized it as yet another example of the growing divide between those who can afford to pay for premium services and those who cannot.
One of the major concerns with Verified is that it could create a two-tier system on social media, where verified users are given more visibility and credibility than unverified users. This could have serious consequences for small businesses and independent creators who cannot afford to pay for a subscription and may struggle to build their brand and attract customers without the blue checkmark.
Furthermore, there are concerns about the impact that Verified could have on user privacy. In order to be verified, users will need to provide Meta with additional information about their identity, which could be used for targeted advertising or other purposes.
Despite these concerns, it is likely that many users will be attracted to the idea of a blue checkmark and the status and credibility it confers. For those who are willing to pay for the service, Verified could offer a valuable tool for building their personal brand and increasing their visibility on social media. However, it is important to consider the potential consequences of a two-tier system and the impact that Verified could have on user privacy and the overall social media landscape.