4 Ways Meta-Verified Subscription Has Impacted Instagram The highly coveted blue ticks which have been a milestone for brands and content creators for years can now be bought for 699 rupees. We spoke to digital agencies and creators to understand four ways this subscription plan has impacted the platform.

By Kavya Pillai

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The highly coveted blue ticks which have been a milestone for brands and content creators for years can now be bought for 699 rupees. Meta, the parent company of the popular photo and text social media platform Instagram, is testing verified subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram, with a monthly charge for users who want to reap premium benefits.

Social media platforms of late have found themselves in troubled waters with their revenue plunging, resulting in multiple layoffs. Viraj Sheth the co-founder of Monk Entertainment said, "Platforms are hyper-focused on increasing monetisation avenues for themselves and the blue tick is a solid way to do that. It is a status symbol that people will pay for. It will encourage more people to take up content creation." He further added, "Over a period of time, it will also seriously devalue the importance of a blue tick."Meta has claimed that it is trying to save accounts from getting hacked with its new verification plan.

The platform is also offering added layers of security to verified users which was earlier considered sacrosanct by digital platforms. The newly Meta-verified users can get 'proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.' Twitter had also made SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) a premium feature. So, verified users will get more visibility and security for the services, which were previously available for free or with minimum fees. To know more, we spoke to digital agencies and creators to understand four ways this subscription plan has impacted the platform.

1. Simplified Process

About the new verification process, Kaavya Gupta the Creative Head and Growth Strategist at By Design (formerly IBD) shared, "Instagram and Facebook verification used to be a very complex process so the upside is that well-deserving creators/profiles can now reap the benefits of a verified account. However, verification also brings with it a sense of trustworthiness and reliability so we hope creators will do justice to this status through branded or unbranded content they create."Brands often pay an extra fee to boost their reach on social media platforms. So this new price may seem reasonable to them.

2. Need for Stricter Guidelines

In the public discourse, blue ticks signify social importance, meaning it helps them differentiate well-known personalities from impersonators and ensure a sense of exclusivity and authenticity. Twitter also acknowledged how consumers perceive verification back in 2017. After Elon Musk's takeover and making verification a paid service, Twitter was swamped with verified bots and fake accounts. Brands were also affected. Gupta shared, "In my opinion, now that verification is so easily accessible to just anyone on a chargeable basis (and not merely well-recognised faces to differentiate them from spam/fan accounts as it was intended to be), I am wary of the credibility of simply anyone getting the badge. "

3. Trust in Verification

The original process of awarding the coveted blue tick was quite comprehensive, including multiple layers of cross-checking. Due to this, blue ticks gave a sense of authenticity. Now, it would be a status symbol. It would also mean a change in the social media platform's algorithm. Paid verified users would get more visibility. In an interview, Elon Musk said that you will have to scroll really far to see unverified users. Content creator Yashraj Mukhate with 2 Million Instagram followers said, "It was really cool to have a blue tick before as it signified that the person has some credibility or a body of work, which is recognised by some media. Now it's just, whoever is ready to pay, gets it. That is annoying."

4. Consumer Perception

The idea of social media was to make information more accessible and give a platform to those who are not heard often. The new plan ensures the rich will get their voices heard yet again. The Director of Content Management at Sportz Interactive, Chintan Shah said, "People will continue using social media. That habit isn't going away anytime soon. Those who were verified earlier already have a strong follower base that follows them for the content being posted." He added, "It won't affect the market too much but you'll end up seeing more verified badges popping up. On the other hand, there are those who lost their Twitter blue ticks and are not willing to pay because they have secured a loyal audience by now."

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