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I Got Meta Verified on Instagram — Here’s My Honest Review

I put Meta Verified — and the coveted blue check — under the microscope for two weeks. The results were definitely not what I expected.

Dec 11, 2023 10 min readInstagram
Photo of Kirsti Lang
Kirsti Lang

Content Writer @ Buffer

I’ve attempted to get verified on Instagram about three times over the past few years and — as awkward as it is to admit — been rejected every single time. 

So when Meta, the company that owns Instagram, introduced Meta Verified, a monthly subscription that will give you that coveted blue checkmark on Facebook, Instagram, or both, my interest was piqued. 

I’ll be honest: Mostly, I just wanted the satisfaction of seeing the blue badge on my profile. But Meta promised a handful of other benefits along with verification, including new features and enhanced support, that seemed worth trying out. With that in mind, I coughed up the $14.99/month (the cost varies by region) to put Meta Verified to the test.

Would the official blue check still hold the credibility it did before you could buy it? Or would there be some Instagram algorithm magic that gave my content a boost, making it more likely to land on the Explore page and in my followers' feeds? 

Things might be heading in that direction since Instagram is testing a separate Meta Verified-only feed that users can turn on (which they recently revealed in the IG Updates Broadcast Channel). 

I was about to find out. Here’s everything you need to know about using Instagram with a Meta Verified subscription — and whether it might boost reach and engagement for your Instagram account. 

The benefits of Meta Verified

There are five benefits Meta highlights as incentives to pay a monthly fee for the Verified offering. I’ll lay them all out here, but scroll on to ‘the verdict’ for my review of all these perks. 

  1. A verified badge: Meta Verified's biggest draw is the blue check at the top of your Facebook profile to “help your community know that it's the real you,” Meta says.
  2. Account protection: Meta promises “added protection for your profile with proactive impersonation monitoring” as part of the offering.
  3. Account support: Access to a better support system to resolve issues that may crop up.
  4. Exclusive stickers: Access to Meta Verified stickers on Stories and Reels.
  5. Trial features: First access to potential benefits that Meta is testing for verified users. 
A screenshot of the benefits of Meta Verified

Who is eligible for Meta Verified?

We have a thorough guide on how to get verified on Instagram (including the non-paid route), so I’ll give you a high-level overview here. 

Before you start, it’s worth noting that paying for Meta Verified does not automatically mean you will be verified. There are still a few hoops to jump through. 

For your profile to be eligible (the requirements for businesses to be verified are slightly different), you must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Have a prior posting history.
  • Have a profile picture that clearly shows your face and a profile name that adheres to Meta Verified naming standards.
  • A government-issued photo ID that meets Meta Verified ID requirements.
  • Have two-factor authentication enabled.
  • Follow Instagram's Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

Good news, though: Unlike Instagram’s original verification process, you don’t need to prove you’re a notable public figure to subscribe to Meta Verified. 

How to subscribe to Meta Verified

The process of signing up is pretty straightforward. Before you begin the process, make sure you have a clear copy of your identity document ready to upload.  

  1. Go to your Instagram profile by tapping your profile picture on the bottom right of the app.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu (the three lines on the top right).
  3. Choose Meta Verified, then tap Next.
  4. Choose which Meta accounts you’d like verified (you can choose multiple accounts and Facebook pages).
  5. Confirm and pay. From here on out, you’ll be charged the monthly subscription fee unless you cancel. 
  6. Confirm your profile picture and username (make sure your name is the same as what is on your identity document).
  7. Upload a copy of your driver's license, passport, or ID card — and you’re done!

Instagram says verification can take up to 48 hours, but I received an email and a notification in the app to let me know that my verification was complete within a few minutes. 

How my content performed before and after Meta Verified

Down to the juicy stuff: did Meta Verified actually make a difference in my content performance? Let’s look at my stats in the period before I subscribed.  

As part of my experiment, I kept my content cadence reasonably consistent to eliminate as many variables as possible. I posted an Instagram feed post (a single photo, Carousel, or Reel) every other day, plus three to ten stories daily. 

Being able to plan and schedule out all my content for this experiment was an enormous time-saver. Here’s how I use Buffer to create my social media content calendar

Let’s take a closer look at how all that content performed:

Before Meta Verified

I trialed Meta Verified for two weeks. Here’s the data for the two weeks prior to subscribing to Meta Verified:

  • Followers: 5,734 
  • Accounts reached: 1,946 
  • Accounts engaged: 160
  • Profile activity: 121

After Meta Verified

I was pretty shocked to discover that after two weeks with Meta Verified, I had actually lost a handful of followers, and my reach had taken a bit of a dip. On the other hand, my engagement ticked up, and my profile activity soared. Weird, right? 

Actually, I don’t think so — I’ll explain why in a bit! First, the numbers:

  • Followers: 5,724 
  • Accounts reached: 1,823
  • Accounts engaged: 217
  • Profile activity: 279

What do the numbers mean?

Here’s the percentage difference in the key numbers: 

  • Followers: -0.17 percent
  • Accounts reached: -6.5 percent
  • Accounts engaged: +30.2 percent
  • Profile activity: +79 percent
Meta Verified Review

These might seem like some significant fluctuations, but to me, this just looks like another month on Instagram. Some of my content resonated, and some of it didn’t. I’m pretty sure these numbers have everything to do with the content itself rather than some sort of algorithmic boost from being verified. 

For example, I posted a Reel that performed well in terms of views the week before I subscribed to Meta Verified (I think it may have enjoyed a short stint on the Reels feed), but it didn’t get much engagement. 

Meta Verified Review

Then, post-Meta Verified, I posted a Carousel with a long caption that I felt was thoughtful, actionable advice. It generated a couple of great comments and inbox messages and likely drew people to my profile as well (hence the lower reach but higher engagement and spike in profile visits).

Meta Verified Review

In other words, I don’t think Meta Verified had any impact at all on my content performance. 

Meta Verified: the verdict

Let’s break this down according to the explicit (and implicit) benefits of Meta Verified. 

The verified badge

Was it great to see that blue check atop my profile? Absolutely. Did it look exactly like the ones my favorite creators, celebrities, and public figures had? You bet. There’s no difference between them at all. Check out UK creator Chessie King’s blue tick and mine side-by-side below. 

But, as the numbers above show, that shiny blue badge I paid had absolutely zero impact on my reach, engagement, and followers.

To be candid, I’d been expecting some sort of boost in content performance — whether from the added gravitas of the blue tick or Instagram’s algorithm favoring content from my premium account. But over the course of my two-week trial, my reach actually dropped (I even lost a few followers!) while my engagement and profile visits went up.

In hindsight, I’m rather glad Meta Verified didn’t impact my content performance. While this may change as the Meta Verified subscription evolves, I see it as a good sign that Instagram isn’t becoming pay-to-play — not yet, at least. 

Added protection and support

These were features I wasn’t too bothered with, but I was actually rather impressed by the strides Meta has made on this front — support in particular. 

I had to delve deep into the settings to find these options (Meta definitely has some work to do when it comes to Meta Verified onboarding), but navigating over to Settings > Help revealed a host of settings that weren’t available to me before. 

Check out this comparison — the dark-mode screenshot is from my fellow Buffer Content Writer, Tami Oladipo’s, regular account. Mine is the light-mode screenshot on the right. 

Among all these great new support options was something I was pretty shocked to find: the ability to talk to an actual, real-life human. By tapping over to the Meta Verified section, I was able to speak to a really helpful Instagram support agent within two minutes. 

Another added underrated benefit: You can navigate away from the support chat to check things and take screenshots for the support agent, and the chat remains active. For many Social Media Managers, creators, and business owners, this is a game-changer. 

An example from my own work: I’ve needed support from Instagram before, during my time on the Marketing team at another tech company — the person who had set up our Instagram account had left the company, and we couldn’t get access. But no matter what mechanism I tried, I couldn’t get help from a real person at Instagram to sort the issue. 

Eventually, we had to write the account off and create a new one. We didn’t have a huge following, so it wasn’t a huge loss — but I can imagine how much easier it would have been if I’d been able to talk to someone to help me.

I also know creators who have fake accounts set up with their images all the time. (Thankfully, this is not something a nano-creator like me has to deal with!) But I’d imagine that added protection would be invaluable if you depend on your personal brand for income. 

Exclusive stickers and features

On the Meta Verified info page, they show you the stickers in the screenshot below. 

I’d assumed there would be a host of new stickers to play around with as part of the subscription — but that’s really all you get. Three new stickers. And they don’t do anything interesting, either. 

As for the new features, I didn’t notice anything beyond the more robust Help section. I had also thought this might mean new Instagram features would be rolled out to a Meta Verified account faster, but this didn’t seem to be the case. 

In fact, I’m still waiting on features that I know my Buffer teammates based in the U.S. have been able to use for several weeks. 

Is Meta Verified worth it? 

If you’re a big brand or creator with a solid following who is particularly concerned about the security of your account, it might be. It was comforting knowing I could chat with an actual human should anything go wrong. If losing access to my Instagram account meant a loss of income, I would seriously consider paying every month. 

But if you’re looking for the yellow-brick road to thousands of followers or even a modest boost in reach and engagement — Meta Verified is not it. 

When it comes to building a following on Instagram, there’s no substitute for the tried-and-tested route of regularly producing high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your target audience. 

If you’re looking to grow your following on Instagram, I've seen far better results from applying the guidance from the resources we have on the Buffer blog. Here are some must-reads:

📚 When's the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2023?

📚 How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2023: Everything You Need to Know

📚 Instagram for Small Business: How to Grow in 2023 and Beyond

📚 The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Growth: 13 Tactics for Getting More Followers on Instagram

That said, it’s clear that it’s still early days for Meta Verified, and I don’t think these benefits are all the tech giant has planned for Instagram. Watch this space — I’ll put Meta Verified under the magnifying glass again soon. 

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