I was Meta-Verified For A Month and I won’t Renew….
The cat is out of the bag but his tail isn’t. I wanted to dive into the topic of Instagram verification and share some insights. I’m not an expert but let’s just say I have inside information. Let’s jump right in and cover the who, what, and why on this topic.
Who gets verified on Instagram? Generally, people who are at risk of being impersonated, such as celebrities who are personal brands, or businesses. If you’ve been on Instagram before Meta started charging people for verification, you might have seen unknown people with verification badges. Even if they have very few followers, they may still be verified because they run the risk of being impersonated. Verified accounts do get hacked, but it is generally easier to recover them than regular accounts.
The verification badge on Instagram was never intended to be a status symbol. Its primary purpose was to ensure that users could recognize when they were at the correct account. However, over time it became glamourized and turned into the status symbol we know it to be today.
Before Meta started charging for verification, the process was not done by Facebook/Meta itself. Third-party companies were used to verify accounts, and it was mainly about networking and who you know. However, many people found a way to bypass this and get verified without using these channels.
For all the people shaming those who subscribed to Meta-Verified, I want to point out that these individuals could have always paid to get verified. The process is not new, and the monthly subscription fee only made it more accessible to a broader audience. The Girls were always paying honey!!
I myself did not apply for verification, even though my account runs the risk of being impersonated. It has been hacked before, and it took me two weeks to get it back. A few years ago, I also had to subpoena Facebook and Twitter for a serious social media/cyber situation where my life was being threatened, and my account was continuously being impersonated. Over 168 fake accounts were made on my behalf by this person however, that is a story for another day.
If you try to get verified in the Instagram app, which to my knowledge, no one has ever been verified through, the app asks for a few links and identification. Anyone can get their hands on that information, so it is challenging for the app to know whether the person is real or not. This is why PR companies and other media companies that work with these people are used to verify their accounts.
Now, let’s talk about the Meta-Verified program. It promised to make accounts more secure, but it was not just about security; it also came with a blue checkmark beside your name. I did not know this when I subscribed, and I immediately regretted it when I woke up the next morning and saw the blue checkmark on my profile. I hated it because I never cared about being verified before, and now it was a paid service. Meta is doing this for money, and with everyone getting verified, it will make verified Instagram accounts no different from regular Instagram accounts.
I reached out to Instagram customer service, but they were unable to just remove the blue checkmark from my profile for 30 days. They also said for security reasons they couldn’t cancel the service either and I had to basically ride it out. During that time, I ran tests to see if the Meta-Verified program was worth the money. My conclusion is 50/50, and that’s partly because I spent most of April in the hospital.
One of the main issues with Meta-Verified is that while you cannot change your name and profile photo while enrolled in the program, you can change the email address and phone number associated with the account. This poses a significant security risk that has not been addressed.
Being Meta-Verified does not boost your account or content, despite rumors to the contrary. It is simply a way to show that your account has been verified.
I hope this blog post has shed some light on the topic of verification and the new social media world we are embarking on. Also I just created a Lemon8 account, it’s a new social media platform and it reminds me of Pinterest and what Instagram started out as back in the day. There is no video and I think that’s what I love the most right now – if you’re on there come say hello let’s be friends my username is -LaurenOLauren. Check out my profile here.
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