Most Americans don’t pay for social media, but those who want a badge and enhanced security do

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Meta Platforms Inc. has launched Meta Verified, a subscription service for Facebook and Instagram that offers people additional account protection, customer support, and a verification badge on their profile for a monthly fee. Next comes Twitter Inc.’s Twitter Blue, a subscription service that offers everyone a blue tick and the ability to post longer tweets and edit tweets once they’re posted.

These services are part of a larger trend of social media platforms charging for access to premium features — and most Americans aren’t interested, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

Those who pay for social media services want a badge and improved account security

Social media companies have increasingly started rolling out paid features, typically aimed at users who are already spending a lot of time on the platforms. Features include access to unique content, experimental features, fewer ads, improved account protections like two-factor authentication and impersonation monitoring, and the ability to publish longer content and higher-quality media.

Of the features made available or promised in the future through these subscription services, improved account security appeals to the majority of adults, with 1 in 4 saying it is the most important feature a social media company can offer. And of those people who said they would be willing to pay for social media, 3 in 10 said improved security and a verification badge were most important.

However, the largest proportion of adults (26%) indicated that none of the features currently offered or promised are important enough to pay for.

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Content creators who generate revenue from their posts and who are much more open to paying for premium features on social media platforms are most interested in a verified badge on their profile: 1 in 3 said the tick , once synonymous with authenticity and authority, is the most important feature a social media company can offer.

Most of the features offered by social media companies as part of new subscription models appeal to content creators more than the average user. Power users are increasingly dominating feeds on social media platforms. Twitter, for example, found that less than 10% of users produce 90% of the platform’s content. The subscription services currently offered by social media companies seem largely geared towards converting power users into paying users, rather than trying to move the majority of users away from the free-to-use model.

The March 11-12, 2023 survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,200 US adults with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.