21.11.2023 | by Lili & Felix
With identity theft and fraudulent impersonations on the rise, verification becomes more important than ever. Is the message coming from the person/entity it claims to come from? Several social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) have already established a verification system that aims to prove to users the authenticity of the post they’re reading.
Meta platforms, like Facebook and Instagram have a long-standing verification system in place for celebrities, public figures, brands and other household names. Accounts eligible for this programme have a blue tick displayed next to their name.
Screenshot of facebook.com/zuck, displaying Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook account with a little blue tick next to his name
In early 2023, Meta launched a new subscription package for content creators on Instagram and Facebook. This package allows subscribers to display a similar blue tick beside their name, proving that their account is verified by Meta.
The package costs between $11.99-14.99 per month for individuals and $21.99 per month for businesses. (Please note that the business package is not available in every region.) For this price, subscribers can display the blue tick which proves that Meta has verified the authenticity of the account (by a government ID, and in some regions, a selfie video).
In addition, the package promises a heightened protection from identity theft, direct account support, and various marketing features for improved visibility and exposure on the platform.
Meta promotes the new package to users in various ways, including direct ads to users. Take a look at the ad we received:
Screenshot of a push notification in German we received from Meta
Translation: “Join the waitlist for Meta Verified. With Meta Verified you can create an established presence and enjoy exclusive benefits. Verification tick: Your target audience can be sure that you’re a real person who shares authentic experiences. Heightened account protection: Thanks to proactive identity monitoring you are less exposed to identity theft. Support around the clock. Meta Verified is not available to businesses and persons under 18 years. (translated by globaleyez)
The introduction of the new verification system doesn’t affect the existence of the old one at all. This means that holders of old Meta verification badges (that look identical to the new ones) can continue displaying their blue tick. In fact, the old system remains active, meaning that emerging celebrities and brands can still apply for a blue tick for free.
However, these free ticks don’t give access to the other features of the subscription package. So if your brand is entitled to the free verification badge but would also like to enjoy strengthened identity protection and all the rest, you’ll have to subscribe to Meta Verified.
Meta Verified is currently available on Facebook and Instagram. Individuals wishing to sign up have to select which of their profiles they want to enrol in the programme, then set up a payment method for the monthly fee. Finally, applicants have to submit a photo of their government-issued ID and, in some regions, a selfie video as well. Meta then checks the data and (if all is well) approves the enrollment.
Businesses applying to the programme first have to check if they meet the qualification criteria. These include the country of origin, actual control over the account, adhering to Meta’s various terms of services and guidelines, and more. If your business qualifies, you can submit your application including your verifiable business name and contact data. Meta promises to review (and if all checks out, approve) your application within three business days.
In the era of identity theft and misinformation spreading online like wildfire, Meta Verified may be a solution for easing people’s anxiety. With a blue tick beside a name, social media users can be somewhat more certain that who they’re viewing is actually the person they claim to be.
While that’s certainly advantageous, there are unfortunately quite a few drawbacks to Meta Verified as well.
The new package is very similar to that introduced by X a year earlier, which means that the problems and confusion caused by it can be quite similar as well. There’s no way to distinguish who has “earned” the badge by being a notable person/brand and who has purchased it for a monthly fee.
As in the case of X verification badges up for sale, Meta Verified is also available to anyone who buys a subscription. Anyone, including fraudsters can purchase the blue tick and have access to all its advantages.
Although Meta requires government-issued IDs before approving an application, we don’t know their process for vetting the IDs. Besides, those documents can unfortunately be forged, and since Meta only receives a picture of them, fraudsters may have a higher chance of passing their fakes off as originals.
Online brand protection experts certainly appreciate the efforts of social media and online marketplaces to keep their platforms as free from fraudulent users as possible. However, since detecting and preventing fraud is not their main profile, chances are that some fraudsters will be able to trick the system and get past the gates.
This is why online brand protection is essential for brands who wish to keep their IP rights safe and out of the hands of infringing users.
globaleyez’s social media monitoring service is designed to detect potential IP infringements in all kinds of social media content, including posts, ads, product listings and more. In the case of Facebook, we take advantage of specialised brand protection tools that allow us to react even faster to emerging IP infringing content on the platform.
Once we’ve established that a post, product listing, image, etc. infringes on your IP rights, we demand its removal from the platform, thus enforcing your rights.
Meta Verified is a step in the right direction, albeit with serious issues that should be addressed by the platform. Don’t wait for Meta (or any other social media platforms) to solve the issue for you. Sign up for a comprehensive online brand protection programme at globaleyez and receive the highest quality brand protection services tailored to your brand’s exact needs.
Contact us now to discuss the details!