Though for years Facebook claimed all its services were "free and always will be," the value of users' personal data meant the site was never truly free. Unfortunately, the launch of Meta Verified is a tone-deaf move reinforcing tech greed. By forcing users to pay for services that were expected to be a default offering — such as protection from impersonation — the paid service looks more like a marketing pitch than of actual value to creators.
Meta's new offering is fundamentally about increasing authenticity and security by cutting down on trolls, impersonations, and fraud. Though it will undoubtedly also help the social media platform diversify its revenue stream and reduce its reliance on advertising, Meta Verified further benefits users by adding premium value to their account; at $11.99 or $14.99 a month, it's a bargain for the content.