Google’s Jumping on the Blue Tick Bandwagon

Google blue checkmark

Two months after Meta announced it would be rolling out an option to pay for blue tick verification, Google has shared that it’ll also start using blue ticks — for brands only.

On Wednesday, May 4, the company announced blue checkmarks will automatically appear next to the names of companies that have adopted Gmail’s existing Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) feature.

If you’re not familiar with the BIMI feature (and there’s no reason you would be, if you don’t own a brand), it was rolled out in 2021 and requires senders to use strong authentification and to verify their brand logo so that it can be displayed as an avatar in emails. Now, in addition to seeing the brand’s logo as an avatar, users will also see a blue checkmark icon next to the brand’s name.

Google blue checkmark
Image: Google

Google said in a news release that the update matters because strong email authentification will help users and email security systems identify and stop spam, as well as enable senders to leverage their brand trust.

“This increases confidence in email sources and gives readers an immersive experience, creating a better email ecosystem for everyone,” the statement reads.

Brands wanting the blue tick will need to first set up a BIMI if they haven’t already. There is no cost for the verification. Once approved, the blue tick will automatically appear.

Earlier this year, Meta announced Meta Verified, a subscription-based, paid blue tick status offering on Facebook and Instagram. After the feature was tested in Australia and New Zealand in February 2023, in March, the company decided to roll it out worldwide.

Meta also shared at the time that the subscription in the US would reflect learnings and feedback from the testing in Australia and New Zealand. For instance, one of the benefits offered in the initial test which increased reach in search, comments, and recommendations will be removed.

Meta Verified
Image: Meta

“We saw a bit of confusion about how this piece worked, so after some early learnings, we’ve decided to remove this element from Meta Verified for now as we begin in the US,” Meta shared. “We want to take time to further explore its value and gather more learnings before we consider expanding it further.”

Meta also answered what happens to people who are already verified, as they might’ve been wondering: will they now have to pay the subscription fee to keep our blue ticks? Not yet, Meta says.

“As we test and learn, there will be no immediate changes to accounts on Instagram and Facebook that are already verified based on prior requirements,” it wrote. “We will continue to utilise integrity checks and monitoring to keep you and your community safe. Existing verified badge holders can also apply for a Meta Verified subscription if they meet the eligibility requirement.”

Related: Meta’s Paid Blue Tick Launches in US (and No, I Can’t Help You Get It)

Related: Would You Pay to Engage With Meta’s Flop Era?

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