In 2009, St. Louis Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa filed a lawsuit against Twitter, claiming that a user was pretending to be him on the website. La Russa sought “unspecified damages.”
Eventually the faux La Russa account was taken down and the lawsuit was dropped, but this little known story led to something even greater: Twitter’s Account Verification process.
Through this process, notable figures would go on to receive a visible blue check on their Twitter accounts, identifying themselves as the real deal.
However, a major shift in account verification has happened over the last few months. Companies like Twitter and Meta are now offering premium verification subscriptions for all of its users. This means you can now pay to receive the infamous blue check.
So let’s talk about paid verification: what additional perks come with it and most importantly – are paid subscription models worth your money?
What is Paid Verification?
In the past, being a verified user meant you’ve proven your identity to your chosen social media platform and in return gained a verified label on your account: a checkmark. The verified label was traditionally given to public figures and entities (think celebrities, politicians, brands), as a way to authenticate yourself and make impersonation hard to achieve. However, the blue check that was once seen as a status symbol, is no more.
In June 2022, Twitter announced its premium subscription, Twitter Blue, which was initially rolled out to both Canadian and Australian users. Twitter Blue gave users access to premium features including the ability to edit tweets, access to bookmark folders, customer app icons, themes, customer navigation, longer tweets, account verification and more.
In November of the same year, Twitter paused paid verification due to an influx of users creating imposter accounts, but was almost immediately brought back to life one month later. Twitter Blue charges interested users $8 a month (if you sign up online) or $11 a month for iOS (if you sign up via Apple’s App Store).
With the updated version of Twitter Blue, only its subscribers will have access to text message authentication, which could put the security of those without the subscription at risk.
Since Twitter Blue’s introduction, other social media platforms have begun to roll out their own versions of paid verification subscriptions. The latest is Meta with Meta Verified.
The model is described by Meta as a “subscription bundle on Instagram and Facebook that includes a verified badge that authenticates your account with government ID, proactive account protection, access to account support, and increased visibility and reach”
With testing for the service beginning in Australia and New Zealand, the monthly subscription begins at $11.99 on the web and $14.99 on iOS and Android.
Is Paid Verification Worth It?
The answer to that question is, it depends.
The casual Twitter user may not see value in paying for a site that was once completely free and offers features that may be of no use to them. On the other hand, brands and very active users could find its features to be intriguing as it could potentially help with their marketing efforts.
In regards to Meta Verified, the subscription model seems to benefit content creators most, with its ability to increase an account’s reach in areas such as search, comments and recommended posts. In addition, Meta Verified also offers users exclusive stickers to use for stories and reels as well as 100 Stars per month to send to creators.
For the average user who simply wants to share photos and updates with family and friends – opting into a monthly subscription may not be a priority.
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