Meta has been a pioneer of digital advertising for years. However, its digital advertising business took a huge hit in 2022. Ever since Meta has been trying to diversify its revenue sources. Cut to 2023. Enter Meta Verified, the company’s new paid-verification subscription programme. The news comes shortly after Elon Musk’s Twitter announced a similar subscription service for a verified account.
While 'Meta Verified' has been initially launched only in Australia and New Zealand, stakeholders in the creator ecosystem in India do not rule out the service hitting the Indian market soon. After all, India is one of Meta’s largest markets.
However, in a country like India, where getting a consumer to pay for something is considered very difficult, this decision is sure to spark a lot of conversation.
The introduction of this new feature is likely to impact creative and marketing agencies and content creators and influencers the most. The main factor being brand partnerships. Brands look for verified creators who have a large following to partner with to extend their products and services through them. Meta owned social platforms, too, have an algorithm that pushes verified accounts for reach and visibility. This will provide creators with not only new ways to monetise their content but to gain verification for reliability as well. Let’s take a look at what some of the industry folks and content creators had to say regarding Meta’s subscription service.
Impact on influencers
According to Anushree Jain, co-founder of creative influencer marketing and talent management agency SocialTAG, “After Twitter's paid verification programme, Meta's decision about the same will significantly influence marketers' choices of influencers to partner with.”
While a verified account shows the influencer's dedication to creating a personal brand and being acknowledged as an authority in the creator economy, marketers will consider this when choosing to collaborate with them.
The introduction of paid verification on social media platforms may have an impact on the influencer and creator economy in several ways. Firstly, being verified can make influencers more attractive to brands and potential partners as they are perceived to be more trustworthy and legitimate. Additionally, verified accounts are more likely to be recommended by the platform's algorithm, resulting in increased visibility and reach. Paid verification can also help to reduce the prevalence of fake accounts and impersonation, particularly for micro-influencers who may not have a large following. This development is a positive step for the creative economy, indicating that social media platforms are taking steps to support and validate creators. As a result, it may lead to more investment in creator programs and greater interest from brands in the influencer marketing industry.
For brands, paid verification can be seen as a positive development as it can make it easier for them to identify legitimate creators they can work with. This can help reduce the risk of using fake or impersonated accounts, which can damage a brand's reputation.
“Amidst all these, having a blue tick will no longer be considered a privilege for the creators as it will be easily available for all. However, it remains to be seen how effective these paid verification systems will be and how the wider social media community will accept them,” Jain adds.
As per GenZ content creator Ronit Ashra, " The new verification model provides validation and motivation for hard working artists in a competitive market of new creators. With the daily influx of content, it's crucial to stay consistent, relevant, and considerate. The subscription and verification models encourage a sense of competitiveness among creators and helps protect them and their audiences from exploitation. The race now is to not only stay relevant on the platform, but to grow as a brand for their audiences.”
Vaibhav Gupta, co-founder and chief product officer, KlugKlug, said, “Meta's introduction of paid verification is an intriguing move, as it introduces a new way for creators and influencers to monetise their content. It also allows them to be recognised for their efforts, as verified accounts are perceived as more authoritative and reliable. This could potentially open up new opportunities for those in the creator economy, as verified accounts may be considered more desirable for collaborations, sponsorships, and other partnerships.”
According to Ayush Shukla, finance content creator and founder of Finnet Media, “The introduction of the paid blue tick verification on social media has eliminated its exclusivity. While this may be seen as a con for creators and influencers who view it as a status symbol, it is not an issue for the general audience. In fact, there are several positives to paid verification.”
“One major issue in recent months has been the rise of fake accounts impersonating creators and scamming people out of money. Paid verification helps to combat this problem by making it more difficult to impersonate others, and by removing fake profiles. This will save normal people a lot of money and contribute to the end of the fake beauty industry, which preys on unsuspecting customers by charging exorbitant fees for services,” Shukla adds.
The black market for blue tick verification will also be eliminated as a result, which is another positive outcome. Additionally, people who have not been able to obtain a blue tick due to various reasons but deserve it will now have a better chance of obtaining it.
Overall, while paid blue tick verification may have its downsides for some, the benefits it brings in combating fraud and supporting deserving creators outweigh the cons.Ramya Ramachandran, founder, Whoppl says the move will not only help Meta monetise but will help creators in the same way too. “Verified subscriptions can provide creators with a new revenue stream and help them build a community of dedicated fans. This will enable creators to have direct customer support with the Meta team and fix campaign related glitches more efficiently,” said Ramachandran.
Content creators and influencers seem to be happy with Meta’s decision to include a paid-verification subscription service as it provides them with multiple growth and reach possibilities. It catapults them to the front of the pile. Real life results are yet to be found as the service hasn’t launched in India yet. The expectations, however, are optimistic.