“The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification” - Thomas Huxley
When a system is weak, it is susceptible to lobbyers. To prevent this, every system should have a provision for the verification and identification of the users. Verification is an endorsement, a validation under the legacy criteria set forth by the company. Paid verification appears to be the latest social media trend.
Since the inception of social media, the world has become more connected with social interactions and information sharing. Social media platforms hold loads of valuable data from billions of accounts, owing to which it is heavily targeted by hackers and imposters. Hackers are developing new tools and methods to hack into the accounts of popular celebrities, influencers, and brands. Due to this, serious concerns associated with the authenticity and security of users on social media are rapidly increasing.
Additionally, governments are also putting pressure on social media platforms for proper identity and access management. This is because of the increase in the cases of cyberbullying, hacking, etc., which often leads to the exposure of users’ information to other people on the internet. Apart from these factors, numerous other factors are hugely impacting the user’s experience on social media, due to which effective identity and access management is becoming crucial.
To address these concerns, social media companies are introducing paid verification subscriptions. The purpose of paid verification subscription services on social media platforms is to prevent social media fraudulence, enhance security, provide better identity and access management functionalities, and offer exceptional experiences to users. These subscriptions are also aimed at reducing the number of spam accounts and increasing overall reliability. Interestingly, once you verify your social media account, you can rely on social media management software for all your content distribution, reach, and contact building.
“Trust, but Verify”
What are Paid Verification Subscription Services?
Paid verification subscription refers to the service of any platform that allows users to prove their identity to the platform. The purpose of the paid verification subscription services is to offer a higher level of trust, security, and credibility to the users in exchange for a nominal fee. While platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have already introduced their paid verification subscription service, others are also expected to follow the same.
Available for both brands and individuals, the paid subscription services offer more added functionalities to users, such as blue ticks, exclusive stickers, better visibility, etc. Some platforms also offer premium customer support and updated security measures in their paid verification subscriptions.
The service appears to be critical these days, with more vulnerabilities, and with smart hackers. It is shocking to know that the social media accounts of one-fifth of users in the US are getting hacked within the first three months of their enrollment. Due to this, social media platforms are implementing new security measures, which also add to the functioning costs of platforms. Paid subscriptions are allowing social media platforms to cope with these situations while generating more revenue and improving the customer experience.
Importance of Paid Verification Subscription Services
Paid verification subscription services can offer numerous benefits and advantages to both individual users and businesses. From better online visibility to enhanced account security, paid verification subscriptions can do wonders for social media users. Earlier, account verification was a hectic and uncertain process, but now it is becoming very easy for people to acquire blue ticks for their social media accounts through paid verification services. These services are important for both individual users and businesses in the following ways:
Identification by an Authority
Paid verification services are generally offered by trusted and reliable authorities that have established themselves as credible. Only selected user accounts are identified and verified by social media platforms, which indicates their authenticity among other users.
Access to privileged features
Paid verification subscriptions also offer privileged features to social media users. Apart from verified checkmarks, paid verification services offer other exclusive benefits such as new features, security features, quick customer support, etc. Also, they will see lesser ads and will be allowed to post longer, lengthier videos. These features can hugely benefit the influencers and brands looking for promotions on social media.
Trust Amongst the Users
Social media users go through a strict review process for account verification purposes. Due to this, other social media users can ensure that the verified user is authentic and reliable. This reduces impersonation chances and scams, which helps establish trust among other users. A verified account is much beneficial for those businesses and users who are trying to present themselves as industry leaders on social media platforms.
Accounts verified through paid subscriptions tend to appear higher in search results. These verified accounts also get priority in replies, mentions, and comments. In addition, they actively contribute to the community with new and useful content, due to which more people try to find them for reading better content. These factors extensively contribute to more followers and high engagement.
Quick Networking with Influencers
Paid verification requires an active contribution to the social media community, due to which users keep making new content regularly. This continued content development also attracts new influencers who are looking for more exposure. In addition, social media platforms also keep organizing influencers' events for verified users, which helps in quick networking with more influencers. Verified accounts are also preferred by other influencers for collaborations and paid promotions for quickly connecting with potential followers.
Paid verification subscriptions are also becoming popular owing to their added security measures for improving the safety of social media accounts. For this, advanced security measures, such as suspicious login notifications, multi-factor authorization, etc., are used by social media platforms. These features could add an extra layer of security to the verified accounts resulting in reduced cyber threats.
Integrated Systems Automatically Accepts Without Verification
Some social media platforms use integrated systems such as KYC and social sign-in for verification purposes. In these systems, the user account is automatically verified based on certain credentials existing in the database. In addition, these integrated systems allow quick verification on other platforms also when a user is verified on one platform. These integrated systems offer a streamlined verification process leading to reduced time and effort.
Normal users perceive verified user accounts as industry experts and leaders as they are verified based on strict guidelines and procedures. In addition, a verification mark differentiates them from their competitors which may improve their reputation as a trusted brand. The verified mark also acts as an achievement that is not offered to every social media user. This puts the verified users ahead of other users which also improves the reputation on the social media platforms.
Accountability and Stability
Rampant bullying has become very common on social media platforms. Not only normal users, but verified users are also actively engaging in rampant bullying. Due to this, it becomes very essential for social media platforms to have the highest standards of accountability and stability for verified accounts. Through paid verification services, verified users can be held accountable by social media platforms for the inappropriate activities they are doing on social media.
Privileged Access Management
Paid verification subscription services offer strong security measures and access management to privileged users, i.e., paid subscribers. Paid verification services often provide advanced privileged access management features such as multi-factor authentication, notifications of new login, single sign-on, and behavior-based authentication. In addition, specific details associated with IP, location, etc., are also offered in paid verification services for identifying any account vulnerability. These privileged access management features help keep the user accounts safe from any illegal data access attempts.
Cybersecurity, Leadership, and Strategy
Cyber threats are increasing with the increase in digital technologies. Paid verification subscriptions can avoid such issues as they are equipped with enhanced cybersecurity features. This also helps in reducing the cyber security costs which are consumed in hiring professionals to ensure the safety of social media accounts. In addition, the trust and reliability of the verified accounts can be used by the brands and individuals to show leadership qualities to the followers. People can build strategies to achieve a higher competitive edge over competitors using verified accounts.
Popular Social Media Platforms Offering Paid Verification Subscriptions
Twitter was recently acquired by Elon Musk, after which numerous changes were made to its services, infrastructure, policies, and structure. The company also modified its Twitter Blue subscription adding new functions for paid verified users. Through this new Twitter Blue program, the company is aiming to enhance its revenue while reducing spam. Twitter paid subscription provides three types of verification checkmarks to the users’ accounts which are blue, grey, and gold based on the user type.
Grey Twitter checkmark is assigned to only government and multilateral accounts. Only limited people in key governmental positions can have this mark on their profiles.
A normal Twitter Blue checkmark is given to notable people and individuals. It is the most commonly found verified checkmark on Twitter.
Gold Twitter checkmark is provided to selected businesses based on their authenticity and expertise.
Why get Verified on Twitter?
Twitter is a microblogging platform through which users can share short posts, known as tweets using text, images, videos, etc., to their circle. Twitter believes in the right to express, which allows users to freely express their thoughts and opinions. Twitter has around 368 million active users, due to which verified users get exposure to a huge number of active and potential audiences.
In addition, Twitter trends allow people to share their thoughts on new topics, which also helps in enhanced reach. Through a verified check mark, Normal users can directly approach the verified accounts for paid promotions and partnerships for quick and better responses from them.
Who can get Verified?
Twitter users from around 15 countries, such as Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, etc., can presently subscribe to Twitter Blue. People from the following categories are permitted to apply for verified ticks as follows:
- Government officials
- Companies and brands
- Content creators
- Anyone who wishes to build credibility
Tips to Get Verified on Twitter
Twitter verification has become somewhat easier after the new Twitter Blue subscription. The new verification process is simpler and quicker than the legacy process, which saves time and resources for both platform and users. Some of the tips for easy verification on Twitter are as follows:
Active Community Contributor
Twitter doesn’t verify inactive accounts; rather, only active community members can avail services of Twitter Blue. The user should be active in contributing content and engaging with the community users.
Accurately Completed Profile
A complete profile is also very important in Twitter paid verification. The profile of the users should have a valid and authentic picture, bio, username, etc., as per the official government IDs. They should also link their business website or other affiliations to their public profile so that the Twitter team can easily verify the credentials.
Avoid Frequent Changes to Profile
Avoid making any changes to the Twitter account when the verification process is in progress. Any changes in the profile can adversely impact the verification process.
How to apply?
Getting a Twitter Blue subscription is a very easy process. Users who are 90 days old with a complete profile and verified mobile number can apply for the paid verification subscription from their account itself. The steps are as follows:
- Navigate to Twitter Blue in the Profile section.
- Select your preferred package, i.e., monthly or annually.
- Provide the requested information as per your business or government IDs.
- After the application submission, the Twitter team will review the application and verify the account if it’s eligible.
Twitter Blue subscription starts at $8 per month and can go up to $88 per year. The Twitter Blue pricing is adjusted with the purchasing power parity of the country, due to which slight variations are there in the country-wise subscription fees. In addition, the subscription fees also differ with the platform types, such as Android, iOS, and Web.
Why Should You Subscribe for Twitter Paid Subscription?
Twitter Blue offers a wide range of benefits to users apart from the blue tick. Some of these features are new, whereas others were offered in the old Twitter Blue subscription. The major benefit of Twitter Blue is the verified check mark. Users who apply for the subscription will get a verification badge and reduced ads.
The tweets from the verified accounts will be shown on a priority basis in mentions, replies, and searches. In addition, paid verified users can also edit and undo their tweets with longer video uploads. Twitter is also giving exclusive features such as app icon customization and NFT profile pictures to verified users.
Apart from these benefits, two-factor authorization is also offered by Twitter Blue to ensure improved privacy and security of user accounts. A bookmark folder and reader mode are also offered by the platform to save and read long threads in an easy way.
Requirements for Twitter Paid Verification Services
The Twitter team doesn't essentially verify every account applying for the paid verification program. Since its inception, it follows strict criteria to verify only eligible and genuine accounts on Twitter. Under the approval criteria, the Twitter team individually verifies the user information before allotting a verified checkmark, due to which only 0.2 % of Twitter accounts are verified.
The company considers several parameters, such as confirmed phone number, valid profile picture, activity status, etc., for account verification purposes. In addition, if the user makes any changes to their profile after the verification, then the company can remove the paid subscription at its discretion.
The verification criteria of Twitter Blue are different for individuals and businesses. In most cases, individuals need to provide links to the news source or article, which indicates their authority and expertise. In other cases, a Wikipedia page about the user is enough. Whereas businesses need to provide their website, business ownership documents, etc., for their account verification.
Some of the basic requirements are as follows:
- Account should be a minimum of 90 days old with a confirmed phone number.
- Account should have an authentic name and profile picture.
- No recent changes to the picture, username, and display name.
- Account must be active for 30 days before subscribing to Twitter Blue.
- Account should not have any signs of spam, misleading information, platform manipulation, etc.
- Account should also meet professional qualifications.
The company also discontinued verifying applicants under the legacy verification criteria. In legacy verification, accounts were verified under tags such as active, notable, and authentic. Instead of using these tags, the company will now show verified accounts as Twitter Blue subscribers.
What's Left for Those Without Paid Verification
The majority of the features for free users are still the same as earlier. The free users can still tweet their opinions, create spaces, upload short videos, etc. However, the majority of the legacy verified users will lose their blue tick if they fail to subscribe to Twitter Blue. In addition, free users do not have access to 2-step verification in the new Twitter Blue.
Twitter blue affected more businesses when compared to individuals. For example, Twitter discontinued the free API feature, which hugely impacted the functioning of thousands of apps and businesses.
Meta is the parent organization of the two leading social media platforms, which are Facebook and Instagram. Back in February 2023, Meta announced its paid verification subscription service that will offer a blue checkmark and increased reach. The service is made available to all users in New Zealand and Australia for users 18 years or older. Through this program, the company planned to charge for verifying the users. Apart from Meta verified subscription, users will also get better visibility, access to exclusive features, proactive protection, increased reach, and direct support on both Facebook and Instagram. All existing verified badge holders are also eligible for applying Meta verified subscription.
Why Get Verified on Meta?
Facebook is rated as the largest social media platform, with more than 2 billion active users. Instagram is also a popular platform that is rapidly growing and is expected to cross 1.44 billion monthly active users by 2025. These statistics are alone to determine the future growth potential of Facebook and Instagram. It is a must-have social media platform for creators and businesses in order to connect with their audiences with credibility. Meta Verified ensures stronger data and privacy protections, and better experiences.
Through these benefits, verified users on Facebook and Instagram can have a higher edge over spammers and fake accounts. This helps verified users in establishing mutual trust with their followers, resulting in increased reach and visibility. Around 12 million users can join Meta paid verification program by 2024, signifying the success of Meta Verified among Facebook and Instagram users.
Who can get verified?
Any user above 18 years of age can apply for the Meta Verified subscription. Individual accounts from the following categories can apply for Meta Verified.
- Government, judiciary, and Executive personnel
- Business professionals
- Activists and Organizers
- People in the Entertainment Industry
Tips To Get Verified on Meta
Getting verified on Facebook and Instagram is easy. A few tips are as follows:
Build a Professional Profile
A professional profile helps the followers determine the expertise of the account. In addition, the professional outlook is also considered by the Meta team in the verification process. Users must be genuine in providing their personal information. High-quality graphics and content can create a greater impact in attracting more followers.
Cultivate Your Community
Users should also focus on being regular contributors. They should also actively engage with their followers using comments, mentions, shares, etc., for better engagement. User engagement is very crucial in the verification process as it helps the Meta team determine the reliability and authority of the account.
Promote Your Content
Content promotion is becoming a necessity for social media accounts to acquire rapid verification approval. Backend teams of social media platforms check the online visibility of accounts on the Internet. If the users are promoting their content on the internet, then the backend team can easily find them and will quickly approve the application.
How to Get Verified on Meta?
Meta Verification is different from Twitter Blue, where users only need to pay a few bucks with little online visibility. The Meta team goes through several review processes for the blue tick paid verification program. Meta verification mainly aims to verify creators and business accounts in three easy steps. These steps should be separately followed for verifying accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. These three steps are as follows:
- In Settings, after clicking on Accounts Center, users will find a Meta Verified Tag under their name and profile picture based on the availability of Meta Verified services in their region.
- In the second step, users need to select their preferred payment method for paying the monthly/annual fee.
- After making the payment, users will be redirected to a form. In this form, users need to upload their photo and government-issued ID proof, which will be used for application verification purposes.
The process for applying is simple, but not all users can apply for verification. The availability of Meta Verified is subjected to the region and other parameters.
After verification, the Instagram verified account looks like this.
The Meta Verified is currently available for iOS, Android, and web users. The company is only giving monthly subscriptions to users for now but is expected to offer annual subscriptions in the future. Android and iOS users will be charged $14.99 USD/month, whereas the charge is slightly low, i.e., $11.99 USD/month for web users.
Requirements for Meta Verified
Meta has strict guidelines for verification, and users need to go through a rigorous procedure to ensure the timely verification of their accounts.
- Users of Facebook or Instagram should have a valid profile picture and full name that matches their government documents.
- Two-factor authentication should be enabled before or after applying for the verification process.
- The account should be active for at least 30 days and must actively contribute to the community.
- Account must meet the terms of service and community standards of Meta.
- Users must be above 18 years of age.
Meta Verified is mainly available for user accounts and pages. However, notable pages of celebrities, politicians, and businesses can still apply for verification.
With over 135 million active users daily, Tumblr is rapidly gaining popularity among social media users globally. In Nov 2022, Tumblr announced its paid verification service at a nominal charge of $7.99 as a parody of Twitter Blue. However, the company also specified that it will not be a proper verification program with a proper verification and review process. Instead, the program only offers a few benefits and a verification tick which do not hold any value.
Which Platforms Could Offer Paid Verification Subscriptions in the Future?
It is a subsidiary of Bytedance which allows users to create and share short videos. At present, the company is facing multiple challenges in different countries due to data and privacy issues. However, Bytedance is continuously expanding its data centers to the regions where the company is facing legal issues. For example, 2 new data centers are planned in Europe to eliminate any data risks.
Currently, the company is freely verifying the user accounts of businesses and individuals. However, given the rapid infrastructure expansion, the company could announce paid verification subscription services in the near future. In addition, social media platforms like Twitter, Meta, Snapchat, etc., already have a paid subscription plan. Due to this, TikTok could also introduce its own paid verification subscription for its more than 1 billion active users.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network globally, with over 900 million users from more than 200 countries. Currently, the company is offering a free verification program for businesses and professionals. LinkedIn already has multiple paid subscription plans, but none offers verification. However, given the increasing number of account impersonations, the platform may introduce paid verification subscription services for the users. This will also financially support the company as the revenue will increase significantly from paid subscriptions.
In 2022, Youtube was downloaded over 154 million times globally, making it the preferred choice of creators and businesses. YouTube allows video sharing, live streaming, short video sharing, etc. At present, Google is offering free account verification for users if eligibility criteria are met. It is not offering a paid subscription for verification at present. Google can introduce paid verification subscriptions for users in the near future to prevent copyright infringements.
Myths about Paid Verification Subscription Services
Anyone can Apply
This is one of the most common misconceptions regarding account verification when it comes to paid subscriptions. However, not everyone can apply for blue ticks under paid verification subscription services. The application requirements vary with the platform. For example, Twitter only approves the application if the account looks notable in the community. In addition, accounts created within the last 90 days are not eligible for paid Twitter account verification.
Paid Verification is Easy
Paid verification is not an easy task where you pay, and your account is verified. Backend teams of social media platforms thoroughly review the applications before approving them. This ensures that only eligible and genuine accounts are verified for combating misinformation and spam.
Paid Verification Don't Matter for Individuals
Paid verification services do matter for both individuals and businesses. The blue tick allows other social media users to know about the trustworthiness of the account. Through a paid verification badge, users can differentiate themselves from the spam accounts created by fans and spammers. It helps businesses, artists, influencers, etc., in validating their identity.
Points to Consider While Choosing the Paid Verification Subscription Services
Presence of Targeted Audience
It is very vital for paid subscribers to have knowledge about their target audience. They should opt for a platform having their targeted audience. Through this, they can better connect and interact with them for more popularity and growth. It is very vital for the subscribers to opt for suitable platforms as per their needs.
Cost of the Subscription
Every user who is desiring to opt for paid verification subscriptions should have proper clarity over the price. It is essential to make sure that the subscription does not come with any hidden charges.
Services Offered by the Platform
This is another necessary step before taking paid subscription services. The users should have a proper understanding of the features provided by the platforms apart from the blue tick. The more features a platform offers, the more advantageous it is for paid subscribers.
The users should also be aware of the customer support provided by the platform. Users should check the features, and go through the reviews about the support services offered by the social media platform for paid verified customers. For example, Facebook is highly focusing on customer support features in promoting their Meta Verified subscription.
Reliability of the Process
A clear understanding of the approval process is also necessary for a user looking for paid verification services. Some platforms, such as Twitter, may reject the verification application even after making the payment if a user is not meeting the eligibility criteria. Whereas some platforms like Snapchat instantly approve the verification application after payment. So, read the guidelines, disclaimers, and other FAQs before applying for verification.
Future of Paid Verification Services
The purpose of verification is merely to prove that the account belongs to a human, and not any machine. This makes sense as we are now overtaken by AI. With more and more platforms offering paid verification subscription services, the future of paid verification subscriptions seems considerably bright. It is inevitable that Meta and Twitter will be followed by other players too.
However, certain challenges associated with data and security are negatively impacting the market at present. For example, when Twitter announced its updated Twitter Blue, the company didn't think of the issue of user impersonations. Many fake accounts registered themselves as authentic accounts with blue ticks.
In addition, excessive costs and reduced functionalities for free users could also negatively influence paid verification subscription services. What happens to those users who have a budget constraint, and cannot pay for the subscription? This can create a gap between users and non-users. Accessibility will stand as the greatest challenge. Well, Social media platforms need to come up with new strategies to counter such challenges so that more users can subscribe to paid verification services.
Remaining platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, etc., could also introduce paid verification services in the future, which will further assist the paid verification services growth in upcoming years. Paid verification subscription is only going to grow in the future days to come. After all, digital security and account protection stand as the topmost priority for both users and service providers. In essence, Authenticity will be put into practice in a big way, and this undoubtedly will add value to the users. Digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc., are likely to assist in the development of new features for paid subscribers. This will also positively influence the rise in the number of paid subscribers. The future of social media is undoubtedly going to be a “Pay to Use” model.