We are hearing questions from our clients about the rumors, speculation and concerns about Facebook and Instagram starting to charge for usage. We wanted to take a few minutes to explain what it might mean for you and why it is happening.
The short answer is No, you will not have to pay for Facebook and Instagram.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is testing and may soon roll out a “Verified” account option that costs between $12 and $15 per month but it will NOT be required!
According to the Meta website:
With Meta Verified, you’ll get:
- A verified badge, confirming you’re the real you and that your account has been authenticated with a government ID.
- More protection from impersonation with proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.
- Help when you need it with access to a real person for common account issues.
- Increased visibility and reach with prominence in some areas of the platform– like search, comments and recommendations.
- Exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways.
Some of this may sound interesting but from our experience, there is nothing here that can not already be done yourself other than the “verified badge”. While some of the tasks like accessing a real person may take some work, you can do it yourself or you can reach out to Wild Iris Marketing and we can help you get problems solved.
And keep in mind what we all saw with the Twitter “Verified” situation last year. If you paid for an account and were marked “Verified” there was still just an automated system determining if you were who you said you were. There may have been a bit of human interaction but for the most part they happily took your money and gave you a checkmark.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s stock took a serious nosedive when a “Verified” account posted that Insulin would now be free. Obviously, it was not ACTUALLY Eli Lilly’s account but because it had a Verified checkmark, people believed it was.
So why are Meta and Twitter going this route? Well, they have all sorts of reasons that sound ethical and like they are looking out for their users but the fact of the matter is that advertising dollars for both companies have dropped drastically and they are looking for new ways to generate revenue. With less productive ads, in large part due to less accurate data about audience demographics, ad purchases are decreasing, so revenue is down. So although they have not admitted that is why they are going to begin offering this new “service”, that is what we believe to be their motivation.
In summary, unless something significant changes, we can not think of any reasons our clients would need to begin paying for these services.