Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has recently announced an expansion of its verification program for businesses on its platforms. This move comes after the company introduced Meta Verified for creators, a subscription-based service that provides users with a blue check and access to exclusive features. The expansion of the program aims to offer similar benefits to businesses, such as account security features, increased visibility in search, and the ability to create a discoverable landing page. However, this development raises concerns and draws comparisons to the controversial verification system implemented by Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter).
Unlike Meta Verified for creators, which costs $12 per month, businesses seeking verification will face higher prices. The blue check will be available for purchase on either Facebook or Instagram at $22 per month, and $35 for both platforms. Although this increase in price aims to provide businesses with exclusive features and support, it is significantly higher compared to the subscription fees for creators. This pricing strategy may raise eyebrows and lead to criticism about Meta’s intentions and prioritization of certain user groups.
The verification program for businesses will undergo testing on Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks. WhatsApp, another platform owned by Meta, will also follow suit. This staggered rollout allows Meta to address any potential issues or concerns before expanding the program to all platforms. While this cautious approach is commendable, it may also create a sense of exclusivity and favoritism towards certain businesses, particularly those involved in the testing phase.
Verified businesses on Meta platforms can expect a range of benefits, including account security features, troubleshooting support, and increased visibility in search results. Additionally, businesses on WhatsApp will have the advantage of creating a discoverable landing page and enabling multiple employees to engage with customers. While these perks may seem enticing, the impact they will have on non-verified businesses remains unclear. The introduction of paid verification could create a two-tiered system, where verified businesses receive preferential treatment, leaving others at a disadvantage.
Meta’s decision to introduce paid verification for businesses has drawn comparisons to the controversial system implemented by Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter. Users were given the option to purchase a blue check for a monthly fee, which resulted in rampant impersonation and misuse of verified badges. In response to the chaos, X introduced a verification process that required users to provide a government ID for authentication. While Meta’s expansion of its verification program for businesses may introduce similar security measures, the potential for abuse and impersonation still exists.
Businesses seeking verification on Meta platforms will need to meet certain activity and security requirements. The application process will also require the person applying to prove their connection to the business. While these measures aim to maintain the integrity of the verification program, they may also act as barriers for small businesses or individuals who lack the necessary documentation or resources to meet the requirements.
Meta’s announcement of the expansion of its verification program for businesses brings a new dimension to its evolving platform. While the introduction of exclusive features and support for businesses may seem enticing, concerns regarding the cost, impact on non-verified businesses, and potential for abuse remain. As the program undergoes testing and further development, it is crucial for Meta to address these concerns and ensure a fair and transparent system that benefits all users, regardless of verification status. Only then can Meta truly demonstrate its commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive online community.