And this, I suppose, is how it ends.
Instagram and Facebook users will now be able to pay for a blue tick verification, parent company Meta has announced.
Meta Verified will cost $11.99 (£9.96) a month on web, or $14.99 for iPhone users.
It will be available in Australia and New Zealand this week.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta chief executive, said the move will improve security and authenticity on the social media apps.
The move comes after Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, implemented the premium Twitter Blue subscription in November 2022.
Separately, Twitter announced on Friday it would provide SMS-based two-factor authentication only to users who are subscribed to the US$8-a-month ($11.65) Twitter Blue service from 20 March.
The company currently provides free two-factor authentication through third-party apps and a security key, which are considered more secure than SMS-based systems. If non-subscriber accounts that use SMS authentication do not switch before the deadline, Twitter said it would disable two-factor authentication for that account.
The main social media systems will only work properly for a user if the user pays for them to work properly.
We all used to say that social media isn’t free: if you’re not paying for a product, then you are the product. Which meant that all your usage information was sold to entities that would pay social media companies for it. This is a new -ish territory, maybe: now you pay to be the product.