instagram verified badge

Instagram could be preparing to launch a paid verification feature according to some coding elements uncovered by software developer Alessandro Paluzzi, who has in the past spotted some of the social media platform’s upcoming features by browsing through its source code.

According to Paluzzi, a reference within the platform’s source code to an element named “IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV” could reveal Instagram’s intentions, with IDV typically standing for “identity verification” in the programming world.

The same reference was reportedly found in Facebook’s latest source code. This means that, if launched, the feature could be available for the two applications owned by Meta Platforms (META) and may be accessible by paying a single subscription package.

Will Instagram and Facebook Follow Elon Musk’s Footsteps?

No one from Meta or Instagram confirm any of these rumors but the timing is particularly conspicuous as Elon Musk’s revamp of Twitter Blue has proven to be relatively successful and the key to attracting subscribers was the possibility of obtaining the long-sought “Verified” blue badge.

Same as Twitter, the process to get an account verified within Instagram remains murky and tedious and it typically leads to rejection for regular folks. The standard within the industry until Musk’s arrival was to verify high-profile accounts of celebrities, influencers, and athletes along with top brands and corporations.

Also read: Twitter Users Can Now Buy Annual Subscription to Twitter Blue

Musk identified the lack of transparency in this particular subject from the get-go and exploited it to the benefit of the company, although the beta phase was quite chaotic. Users currently have to pay $11 per month to subscribe to Twitter Blue and obtain a verified badge if they plan to use the mobile version of the social media platform.

In July last year, Paluzzi stated that Instagram was working to allow users to create broadcast chats – a feature that has gone live already – while he has been reporting the firm’s inner works to create and enhance its tool to create groups and channels.

Monetizing Verifications May Lead to Increased Transparency on Social Media

Instagram has been making promises about making the verification process easier and more transparent since 2020 but no initiative has materialized on this front. This lack of transparency has led to the creation of a black market for verified badges according to a report from ProPublica published in August last year.

Shortly after the media outlet’s article popped up, Meta Platforms removed more than 300 Instagram profiles that allegedly obtained their blue tick by portraying themselves as musicians at first to then modify their profile’s content that what they originally intended to share with their audience.

To pull this off, the musician profile of the person was propped up by posting poorly composed songs on platforms like Spotify and Deezer. In addition, dozens of articles were written and uploaded to websites to fool Meta Platforms’ human moderators or maybe an algorithm designed by the company for this purpose.

In regards to the incident, a spokesperson from Meta stated: “Scammers selling fraudulent services continue to target online platforms across the internet, including ours, and constantly adapt their tactics in response to industry detection methods”.

“Whenever we identify a scheme like this, we take action – and that means not only will someone who’s paid for verification lose their money, they’ll lose their verification status, as well”, the company’s representative added.

Paying for getting an account verified would be a way to put an end to these fraudulent actions. In addition, for people who use social media platforms to make a living, showcase their business, or grow an audience, $11 per month – the cost of Twitter Blue – may not be considered expensive compared to the benefits of getting their accounts verified instantly.

It remains to be seen if Instagram moves forward with this project. If they do, this would create a trend that could help social media companies to further monetize their platforms.

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