Social media platforms are beyond just a place to share photos and updates. Their business models are evolving, with the introduction of social media subscription and verification plans being one of the most significant shifts in recent years.

These plans changed user interaction with platforms as we knew them and redefined revenue streams for social media companies, businesses, and content creators

This blog post will delve deep into these plans, how they work, and their effectiveness, backed by case studies and real-world examples.

What Are Social Media Subscription and Verification Plans?

Before diving into the intricacies, let’s understand what social media subscription and verification plans entail. These plans serve as a two-pronged approach for social media platforms to elevate the user experience and create new avenues for revenue. 

Subscription Plans

These premium services provide additional features, such as ad-free browsing, exclusive content, and advanced analytics, in exchange for a monthly or yearly fee. These plans are intended to improve the user experience while generating a steady income flow through the platform.

Verification Plans

On the other hand, verification plans offer a verified badge or status to users, often public figures or brands, for a one-time or recurring fee. This badge is a mark of authenticity and can significantly impact the user’s credibility and reach on the platform.

How Do They Work?

After going through the plans, you may be curious about how social media subscription and verification plans operate. This section will walk you through the detailed procedures involved in subscription and verification plans, from sign-up to activation.

Mechanism of Subscription Plans

1. Sign-Up: Users opt for the plan and provide payment details.

2. Activation: The premium features are activated immediately upon payment.

3. Renewal: Most plans have an auto-renewal feature, ensuring uninterrupted service.

Mechanism of Verification Plans

1. Application: Users apply for verification, often providing identity proof and other credentials.

2. Review: The platform reviews the application against set criteria.

3. Approval & Payment: Upon approval, the user pays the fee to receive the verified badge.

Case Studies and Examples

Real-world examples often speak louder than theory. In this section, we’ll explore specific case studies that showcase the impact of these social media subscription and verification plans on platforms like X Premium, Instagram, and TikTok. These examples will provide a tangible sense of how these plans reshape social media.

Case Study 1: X Premium

Formerly known as Twitter Blue, it introduced its subscription plan in 2021 for $2.99/month (now for $8/month on the web and $11/month on iOS sign-up). Users get features like an ‘Edit post’ option and a ‘Reader’ mode for easier reading of long threads. According to Twitter’s Q2 2022 report, Twitter Blue contributed a 7% YoY increase in subscription and other revenue.

Find out more about all the Premium features here.

Social media subscription and verification plans
Screenshot: Twitter Blog Website

Case Study 2: Instagram Verification

Instagram’s verification process is highly sought after, especially by influencers and public figures. While Instagram does not directly monetize it, third-party agencies often charge fees to ‘assist’ in the verification process. The verified badge can significantly increase an account’s following and engagement rate.

Case Study 3: TikTok Creator Fund and Verification

TikTok offers a Creator Fund, a subscription plan for content creators. Eligible creators can earn money based on various factors like views and engagement. TikTok also has a verification process with a blue checkmark next to the username. It has been particularly effective in increasing the credibility and visibility of creators on the platform. 

According to Business Insider, payouts from TikTok Creator Fund and ad-revenue sharing vary “between a few cents to around $8 per 1,000 views”.

Effectiveness of Social Media Subscription and Verification Plans

But how effective are these social media subscription and verification plans in achieving their intended goals? We’ll delve into various metrics and studies to evaluate the financial stability, user experience enhancements, and credibility boosts these plans offer.

Financial Stability

Subscription plans offer a stable and predictable revenue stream, reducing dependency on ad revenue. For instance, Twitter Blue’s success led to a more diversified income for Twitter.

Enhanced User Experience

Premium features aim to improve user engagement and satisfaction and increase user loyalty. For example, X Premium offers features like a blue verification mark, priority in replies, and fewer ads.

Credibility and Authenticity

Verification badges add a layer of credibility, making it easier for users to gain followers and secure brand deals. A study by Hype Auditor showed that verified accounts on Instagram have a 30% higher engagement rate than regular accounts.

Benefits for Businesses and Personal Brands

While we’ve discussed the general effectiveness of these plans, it’s crucial to zoom in on how they can be particularly advantageous for businesses and personal brands. This section will highlight these social media subscription and verification plans’ unique benefits to this audience, from enhanced credibility to targeted customer engagement.

Enhanced Credibility

Verification plans can be a game-changer for businesses and personal brands. A verified badge signifies authenticity and boosts the brand’s credibility, making it easier to attract partnerships and sponsorships.

Targeted Customer Engagement

Subscription plans often come with advanced analytics features. These insights can help businesses and personal brands understand their audience better, enabling them to create more targeted and effective marketing strategies.

Revenue Diversification

For content creators and influencers, subscription plans offer an additional revenue stream. It can benefit those who rely heavily on ad revenue, which can be volatile.

Competitive Advantage

In a crowded social media landscape, having access to premium features can give businesses and personal brands a competitive edge. Whether through advanced analytics or exclusive content, these features can significantly affect how a brand is perceived and engages with its audience.

Public Sentiment: How Do People Feel Paying for Social Media?

The social media landscape is ever-evolving, and subscription services are just one of many constant changes on platforms such as Snapchat, X, and Meta (Facebook and Instagram). Considering the platform and the type of social media subscription (web or mobile), these subscriptions range from $3.99 to $14.99. But how do users feel about this change? A nationwide survey of 1,056 users by Harvard Business Review provides some answers.

What Users Expect

Expectations vary depending on the platform and its user demographics. For instance, Instagram appeals to a younger audience, while Facebook is popular among adults, especially those over 40. Most of X’s users fall between the ages of 35 and 65, whereas Snapchat tends to attract a younger audience between 18 and 29 years old. The average score for expectations of the new paid services on a 10-point scale ranged from 7.25 to 7.38, with Instagram users being the most positive.

Quality of Features

The features offered by these platforms are continually evolving. X focuses on user verification and fewer ads, Meta emphasizes user verification and customer support, and Snapchat offers exclusive features. Users rated the quality of these features between 7.31 and 7.41 on a 10-point scale, with college-educated users perceiving higher quality across all platforms.

Prices Given the Quality

The perceived value for money varies among platforms. Twitter and Snapchat scored the highest at 7.37 and 7.38, respectively, on a 10-point scale. College-educated, conservative, younger, male, and high-income users perceive greater potential value from these subscriptions.

Ideal Social Media Services

When compared to an “ideal” social media service, Instagram and Snapchat scored the highest at 7.42 and 7.41, respectively. These platforms are closer to what users ideally want from a subscription service.

Likelihood to Subscribe

On a 10-point scale, Snapchat users are the most likely to opt for the paid service, scoring 7.27, followed by Instagram (7.21), Facebook (7.16), and Twitter (7.14). Interestingly, college-educated and conservative users are likely to try these fee-based services.

Key Takeaways

– Instagram leads in user expectations and satisfaction.

– Twitter and Snapchat offer the best-perceived value.

– Snapchat users are the most likely to adopt the paid service.

This data suggests that while users are open to the idea of paid subscriptions, platforms may need to realign their features and focus to meet user expectations fully.

Final Words

Social media subscription and verification plans are not just passing trends but strategic moves that benefit social media platforms and users. They offer a win-win situation: platforms gain financial stability, and users receive enhanced features and credibility. As these plans evolve, they will have an increasingly important influence on the social media landscape.

Whether you are a casual user, brand, or influencer, it’s highly recommended to consider these plans seriously. The social media subscription and verification plans could revolutionize the social game for you. 
Wondering how to integrate subscription-based social media platforms into your business strategy? Schedule a call with us, and let’s discuss your options!