Meta Boosts Business Verification, Unlocks Premium Features

  • Meta expands verification program: South African businesses can buy blue checkmarks for exclusive features and support, but at a premium.
  • Rigorous verification process: Businesses must meet security and activity criteria, ensuring authenticity in their connection to the business.
  • Lessons from Twitter's X: Meta aims to avoid impersonation issues by requiring government ID verification for paid users.

In a significant development for businesses in South Africa and around the world, Meta, the parent company of popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has announced an expansion of its verification program. The move allows businesses to purchase the coveted blue checkmark badge, signalling authenticity and legitimacy, in exchange for a monthly fee. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made this announcement at a recent event.

Enhanced Features and Support

For South African businesses, this expansion brings with it a range of exclusive features and support options. Meta’s initial foray into paid verification, initially for creators, has now been extended to the business community. Verified businesses will receive a host of benefits, including:

BenefitsPricing (per month)
Priority Customer SupportR429
Account Security FeaturesR429
Troubleshooting AssistanceR429
Increased Visibility in SearchR429
WhatsApp Landing PageAvailable in the future

Pricing and Verification Process

South African businesses looking to secure this blue checkmark verification badge have two options. They can choose to verify their presence on either Facebook or Instagram for R429 per month or opt for verification on both platforms for R667.50 per month. The pricing represents a premium over what creators pay, reflecting the unique needs and benefits tailored for businesses.

However, securing this badge won’t be a simple transaction. Meta has established a rigorous verification process. To obtain verification, businesses must meet specific activity and security requirements. The individual applying for verification must also demonstrate a legitimate connection to the business entity, ensuring that only authentic businesses are granted this privilege.

Lessons from Social Media Verification

Meta’s decision to expand its verification program comes on the heels of lessons learned from other social media platforms. For instance, Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, introduced a paid subscription model for users to acquire a blue checkmark. This move inadvertently led to widespread impersonation, with users adopting identical verified blue checkmarks. As a result, X introduced identity verification through government IDs to address these challenges.

Meta aims to strike a balance between offering enhanced features and support to legitimate businesses while safeguarding against potential misuse.

What Lies Ahead

While testing for this expanded verification program will commence on Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks, South African businesses can anticipate further developments on WhatsApp. Verified businesses on WhatsApp will gain the ability to create a landing page discoverable through web search, enhancing their online presence and facilitating customer engagement.

As South African businesses increasingly rely on social media platforms to connect with their customers and expand their reach, Meta’s verification program offers a valuable tool to establish trust and credibility. However, businesses should be prepared to meet the stringent criteria set by Meta to obtain the blue checkmark.

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