After recently announcing its new Meta Verified for Business package, which will give all businesses an opportunity to buy a blue checkmark for their brand presence on Facebook and IG, Meta has now announced that it’s launching the new offering to businesses in New Zealand from this week.
Meta’s Verified Business package offers a range of add-on benefits, in addition to a blue checkmark in the app, including increased impersonation protection, expanded account support access, and improved discovery, via featured spots for verified businesses in comments and search.
As per Meta:
“Get discovered in new ways by being featured as a Meta Verified business. Features may include appearing at or near the top of comments and search results when people type your business name, or appearing as a recommended business to follow in Feed.”
So there are a couple of places that this could get you more exposure, though it’ll be interesting to see how Meta’s algorithm continues to factor in relevance, along with these higher-ranking verified results, especially as more brands sign up.
Which is the same trouble that X is having in some cases, with comments from verified users being boosted in-stream. That can sometimes mean that more relevant comments are pushed down, because they’re from a non-paying account, but what the impacts of that are in terms of overall engagement, we don’t know as yet.
In Meta’s case, it could be even worse, with comment sections, especially on trending posts, set to be dominated by paying brands seeking more exposure. Presumably, Meta has factored this in, but there is a reason why it removed additional reach benefits for its paid verification package for individual users.
We could be about to find out the same for ourselves.
Meta says that its verification for business plan will start from $NZ34.99 a month, which equates to $US21, which is around the price that Meta initially shared for its new business verification package.
In its announcement a few weeks back, Meta said that its verification for business package would be priced at $US21.99 per month per Instagram account or Facebook Page when purchased on the website, or $US27.99 for each via mobile sign-up. Meta’s also looking to offer a combination package priced at $US34.99 for verification of both your Facebook and IG business pages.
That still seems to be the price point they’re aiming for, with some regional variances.
It’ll be interesting to see what initial take-up of the option is like, and how users respond to seeing paying verified brands in-stream. The verification checkmark has long been a sign of trust and/or notoriety, and the risk of commoditizing this, as it is on X, is that it gradually loses any value in this respect, and becomes an irrelevant marker for users.
I suspect that’s already happening, with X’s blue tick now virtually meaningless. Maybe that’s why Meta’s also selling its blue ticks, because as X changes what the marker means, more people will come to become more skeptical of checkmarks either way, so why not also make a few bucks if that trust is going to be eroded?
I don’t know, it seems like a path to obsolescence, that, in selling the checkmark, you’re eroding its value over time.
But many brands will pay, with the promise of better support, and extra reach, likely to be a strong lure for many.
NZ-based brands can purchase the new Meta Verified for Business package here.