Facebook, Instagram follow Twitter’s lead

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Will Young

Elon Musk’s recent firing of Twitter’s customer support team and replacement of the support email with a poop emoji has caused quite a stir. If you were hoping to receive help with your Twitter account, you’re out of luck. It’s safe to say that Musk’s behavior was immature, but it’s not the only eyebrow-raising event since he bought Twitter.

Unfortunately, another major social media company is now following in Musk’s footsteps. Meta’s layoffs have been a long, bloody process that began in 2022 and continued into 2023, affecting 21,000 jobs. According to a recent report from CNBC, the layoffs included employees in customer experience, client support, and communities. In an interview, Instagram influencer Katya Karlov said that she was unable to get help from Meta when scammers stole her profile and posted photos to her 250,000 followers. Other interviewees reported a range of problems, from typical software bugs to being locked out of Facebook groups they ran. Many of these issues negatively affected influencers involved in partnerships with brands, damaging their livelihoods.

Meta also announced Meta Verified accounts for Facebook and Instagram users in February, following Twitter’s lead. In addition to providing the coveted checkmarks that were once awarded for free to prominent users, these verified accounts come with a monthly subscription fee. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, verified users will receive more protection against impersonating accounts, increased visibility in areas such as search and recommendations, and more direct access to customer support. The Verified subscription costs $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 on iOS.

The situation at Meta highlights a significant problem that many companies face: how to balance the need for cost-cutting measures with providing good customer service. Layoffs may be necessary to reduce costs, but they can also lead to a decrease in the quality of customer support. In the case of Meta, the layoffs have had a significant impact on the quality of customer support for users of Facebook and Instagram.

For many users, social media platforms are an essential part of their daily lives. They use these platforms to connect with friends and family, share information, and promote their businesses. When something goes wrong, such as a profile being hacked, users expect prompt and effective assistance from the platform’s support team. Unfortunately, the layoffs at Meta have made this increasingly difficult.

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The situation is particularly problematic for influencers who rely on social media to make a living. Influencer marketing is a growing industry, and many brands partner with influencers to promote their products or services. Influencers with large followings can earn significant amounts of money from these partnerships. However, when their accounts are compromised or they encounter other issues, they may be left without the support they need to resolve the problem quickly.

Meta’s decision to introduce paid verification also raises concerns. While the subscription fees may provide some additional benefits to verified users, it’s another way for the company to monetize its platform. It’s unclear whether the fees will lead to improved customer support for verified users or whether they will simply create a two-tier system where only those who can afford to pay receive adequate support.

Ultimately, the situation at Meta highlights the importance of good customer service for social media companies. While cost-cutting measures may be necessary, it’s essential to maintain a high level of support for users. For influencers, in particular, reliable customer support is essential to their success. With the growth of the influencer marketing industry, social media companies need to ensure that they provide the support their users need to maintain their accounts and grow their businesses.

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