Instagram verification has traditionally been an exclusive status symbol, typically reserved for celebrities and influential personalities. But did you know that this is no longer the case?
Magriet Groenewald is a social media expert. Source: Supplied.
Since February 2023 this verification badge, once an almost impossible-to-get badge of honour, is now up for sale, and basically anyone – yes even the normal everyday user – can get it.
The big question is if it’s worth the cost and effort?
Magriet Groenewald, a social media expert, decided to put it to the test and share her experience with us.
Until recently, the blue tick on Instagram was a status symbol only attainable by those considered “noteworthy” by Instagram, based on vague criteria that were often unclear.
“I’ve helped a few local celebrities to get their accounts verified and have experienced firsthand how challenging it was. We faced rejection even when the account had a following of over 200, 000 and was that of a much-loved SA celebrity”, shares Groenewald.
This exclusivity, though frustrating for many, also meant that verified accounts enjoyed unique collaboration opportunities.
However, the game changed when Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Meta Verified, a subscription bundle that includes a verified badge. This service, initially available in select regions, became accessible in South Africa, prompting Groenewald to give it a try.
“The new paid verification feature is changing the playing field. It is fantastic for someone like me, who focuses on sharing valuable content and building a personal brand, and I could not wait for its rollout in SA. However, I can empathise with influencers who worked hard to earn their blue tick authentically rather than just paying for it. Is this fair to them? Probably not, so I suspect more changes will come from Meta.”
For now, Meta Verified is only available for individuals, not brands, but it’s expected to expand as the feature undergoes testing. The primary goal of verification, according to Meta, is to help creators grow their profiles and communities, while also tackling the rising issue of scams and bot accounts on Instagram.
Getting verified through Meta Verified requires ID verification, with the name on your ID matching your Instagram account. A head and shoulders image matching your ID picture is also necessary.
She notes: “Initially, I could not get my image verified and had to use another image that I did not want to use as my profile pic. But eventually I got another more suitable image verified.”
Lets break down the pros and cons of paying for Instagram verification:
Trust Factor: The verified badge adds credibility to your profile, which is crucial when building a personal brand.
Account Protection: Instagram promises to monitor your account for impersonation, providing an extra layer of security.
Spotting Scams: The blue tick helps users differentiate between genuine and fraudulent accounts, although vigilance is still required.
Customer Support: While they claim to offer priority service, Magriet suggests not setting your expectations too high in this regard.
The primary drawback is the monthly fee of R239.99 (approximately $13 to $15).
After taking the abovementioned information into account, she concludes:
“This is an absolute no-brainer if you’re serious about building your personal brand. The benefits outweigh the costs for someone like me who is actively leveraging social media for business and personal branding. However, this may not be a worthwhile investment if you’re using Instagram to post pictures of your dog or dinner.”