There is a hidden desire in everyone’s heart that one day they will become famous, and people will start to call them celebrities. You can take the example of any celebrity. You will find that they have gone through lots of hard work to reach the point they are right now, and just a few months back, on various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, celebrities used to get a Blue Tick next to their name to show their real identity. It wasn’t a paid Blue Tick, and it was given by those social media companies who run those platforms online.
Known and famous, people started getting the Blue Ticks without much trouble, and it was apparent. Just to avoid someone impersonating a celebrity and creating havoc in the name of a known person, such verification has become necessary. Later these platforms started giving Blue Ticks to those who were not accepted as celebrities nationally or internationally but locally. A small writer or blogger like me could also apply for a Blue Tick, provided he can prove his credentials.
For example, a ‘local celebrity’ had to prove that he has written some articles or been part of media broadcasts for more than one media platform. Also, a few articles are written about him in various newspapers or websites. Once such credentials are furnished with government-approved IDs, that person gets a Blue Tick for free. I know one person who was ready to pay a reasonable amount to publish articles describing him in various and known newspapers and websites to have that Blue Tick next to his name on Facebook and Twitter.
Those who were not ‘prominent celebrities’ yet, like the person’s example I have quoted above, who has got the Blue Tick after spending a good amount for it would then boast about that Blue Tick and then want people online to believe that he indeed is a celebrity. However, I believe the person who got that Blue Tick must have some advantages, like getting more presence than a non-blue ticked person by having a broader reach to spread his thoughts or content.
All this was going smoothly, and some agencies would give you a ‘package’ to get Blue Tick on various social media platforms by arranging articles about you. But then came Elon Musk. He took over Twitter and immediately gathered knowledge about the greed of ordinary people to get a Blue Tick to show off. He was ready with a plan to encash this greed and rolled the plan of paid Blue Tick.
Pay a certain amount to Twitter, get paid Blue Tick, and feel like a celebrity. That’s not it; those who subscribe to this paid Blue Ticks will also get extra benefits. After a bit of a lull, people realised there was nothing wrong with paying some monthly to Twitter, getting a Blue Tick, and feeling like a celebrity. But then it created another problem. After completing the notice period, Twitter removed all Blue Ticks from everyone from the past regime and asked them to pay and get the Blue Ticks back.
What happened then was chaos. A real celebrity named XYZ was not having a Blue Tick for a few days, but a person with a fake profile with negligible followers count had a Blue Tick just because he paid for it. For a few days, this chaos continued, and now it seems that the dust has settled and most of the celebrities have already paid for their Blue Ticks, and now we can see more Blue Ticked profiles on Twitter than ever before.
Meta, who runs Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media platforms, adopted the same formula. Whether you agree with me or not, despite losing its charm long back, Facebook still has good reach to ordinary people than Twitter, and this paid Blue Tick idea would give them extra revenue that they probably miss due to reduced popularity. Instagram is still spreading across the internet like wildfire, but that’s a different story altogether.
Because more people access Facebook than Twitter, we probably see more Blue Ticks on our Facebook friend’s profiles in the coming days. For us paying rupees 699 per month is not a big deal and if by paying such a small amount we get the status of celebrity nothing wrong with it. So we will notice that this trend will remain for at least the next few months. I know some of my Facebook friends who would try it for a month if not more, to get the feel of being a celebrity.
But that is all for fun and not-so-serious stuff. I want to share my views on this paid Blue Tick madness, as I believe that now getting that mark next to your social media profile is unnecessary.
Why I will not go for the paid Blue Tick on any social media platform
For a professional writer and blogger like me, technically, I should try and get that paid Blue Tick. But my take on this is obvious. First of all, I am not a celebrity, and I am aware of this fact; hence there is no greed for it. I will be dishonest with myself if I don’t say that I didn’t try for the Twitter-paid Blue Tick when it was rolled a few months back. But because I made a few changes to my Twitter profile, even after paying Rs. 699 for that month, my verification wasn’t approved, and since then, I dropped the idea to try and get that Blue Tick by paying that amount again.
To spread my views, being a writer and blogger is necessary for me for sure and for that, I should go for that paid Blue Tick, but the thing is, now thousands of people have that blue mark, and thus I believe my views won’t have that exclusiveness that I vouched for. Plus, as claimed by those social media platforms paying the amount and getting that Blue Tick user’s reach will be widened by their algorithms not coming true as far as my experience suggests. A few of my friends who bought the Blue Tick to get better rich are complaining that there has been little or little change ever since they got verified.
So, my point is that even if, after paying money, my reach will not increase, what is the use of wasting my hard-earned money?
I have some advice for those just taking paid Blue Tick for fun. Yes, you have every right to feel exclusive if you have paid an amount for that, but my dear friends, if you are not running a business and don’t need a wider reach for your content, then you probably should not pay anything just for a few days’ feelings. Plus, when more and more people have that Blue Tick, which will happen, you will lose that feeling of being a celebrity or an exclusive person. So, better stop paying for that now.
My decision is based on two simple arguments. One, despite paying amounts, I will not go for it if my write-ups and content are not getting enough reach. Two, good contents always get good reach even if you don’t pay a single paisa.
Before concluding this piece, my condolences to that friend of mine and many people like him who already paid a good amount to PR agencies to get Blue Tick next to their social media platforms because now they can get those ticks themselves by paying directly and have lost money they paid to those PR agencies.
That’s all from me today; until we meet next time, it’s ‘Aavjo’ from my side.
27th June 2023, Tuesday