Paid Verification on Social Media: Is it Worth the Price?
Social media has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing the way we connect, share, and communicate. With millions of users across various platforms, maintaining authenticity and credibility has become a significant concern. In response to this challenge, social media platforms have introduced a new feature – paid verification. In this blog, we will explore the concept of paid verification, its potential benefits, and if it’s really worth the hype (or price).
Understanding Paid Verification
Paid verification allows users to pay a fee in exchange for a verified badge on their social media profiles. This feature offers a more democratic approach, enabling individuals, businesses, and content creators who may not meet the traditional criteria for verification to obtain the coveted blue tick or similar verification badges. While the specific details may vary across platforms, this paid service promises to open doors for a wider range of users to gain credibility and recognition.
How to Get Paid Verification Status
Twitter was one of the first major social media platforms to roll out the paid verification feature to its users. The new Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, rolled out the paid verification feature – dubbed ‘Twitter Blue’, to the users earlier in 2023. Since then, it has gone through a few changes and the current plan looks like this:
- Blue checkmark: The blue checkmark is open for all Twitter users and can be purchased on the web for $8/month or $84/year, in-app on iOS or Android for $11/month or $114.99/year. Some of the features include:
- Edit Tweet after publishing: This feature gives users a 1-hour window to make a limited number of changes to published Tweets.
- Half the number of ads on the wall: Approximately 50% fewer ads in the For You and Following Twitter sections will be presented to users subscribed to Twitter Blue.
- Boosted rankings in conversations and search: Twitter Blue subscribers will appear in the Verified tab within other users’ notifications tab which highlights replies, mentions, and engagement from Blue subscribers.
- Longer Tweets: Twitter Blue subscribers can tweet up to 25,000 characters and can also write longer Tweets in a Quote Tweet or reply.
- Text formatting: Blue subscribers will be able to bold and italicize text in their Tweets.
- SMS two-factor authentication: Twitter Blue subscribers can add another layer of protection to their account with access to two-factor authentication via SMS.
- Gold checkmark: The Gold checkmark, or Twitter Verified Organizations, is for business entities. Organizations can apply for a Gold checkmark by paying a monthly fee of $50 or $1000 annually. Verified Organizations will be able to:
- use the Verified Organizations Portal to manage their billing, verify their network and add or retract anyone from their affiliation,
- customize their profile to set them apart,
- protect themselves against impersonation,
- access Premium Support for assistance with onboarding, adding or removing affiliates, billing, and resolving account impersonation concerns,
- elevate limits for tweeting, sending direct messages, and uploading media,
- grant Twitter Blue Benefits to all affiliated accounts.
- Grey checkmark: The Grey Checkmark can only be availed by government organizations and/or officials, and multilateral organizations and/or officials like WHO, UN, and so on. Currently, there is no fee but an eligibility criteria for the officials/organizations to apply for the Grey checkmark.
Soon after Twitter, Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc, launched their paid verification service for users aged 18 and above. The criteria are common and simple – upload your photo-identification document approved by the government body of your region and pay the fee of $11.99/month for Facebook-web or $14.99/month for each app (Instagram & Facebook). Yes, the latter option means you will have to pay two separate monthly fees for blue-tick on Instagram and Facebook.
The service is unavailable for businesses and government agencies like Twitter Blue. The legacy verified accounts – accounts that were verified before the launch of the paid verification service – need not pay the fee to continue with their blue tick, but they won’t be able to avail of the advantages that come with the subscription. Speaking of advantages, here are some of the features that users can avail of with their Meta-verified profiles:
- Increased Authenticity & Security: Besides giving the blue checkmark for the authenticity of the user account, Meta will monitor the account to track and persuade any sort of impersonation on Facebook and Instagram. Subscribed users will also get dedicated support from an executive for their queries and complaints.
- Facebook Stars: Subscribers will receive 100 Facebook Stars every month, a form of digital currency on Meta, to present and support other creators in the community.
- Exclusive stories’ stickers: Subscribed users will also get a range of exclusive stickers for stories and reels on Instagram and Facebook.
So, Is Paid Verification for You?
For a common individual like the one writing this blog, maybe not.
For businesses and creators, paid verification is absolutely a great way to connect to your audience and reach out to even more people. The verification badge is a symbol of authenticity and the security features that the social media platforms are offering are really worth the price.