Instagram To Charge For Blue Badge?

Published on 04 Feb 2023

Instagram, Charge, Blue, Badge

An active developer has just uncovered code that refers to a "paid blue badge" and a new subscription offering. According to newly discovered code references, Instagram may be working on a paid verification function, mirroring Twitter's implementation of a similar system under Elon Musk. Even in the most recent version of the Facebook app, there is a similar mention, suggesting that, should the development of the product continue, paid verification will be available across all of Meta's platforms.

Alessandro Paluzzi, a developer and reverse engineer made the finding. He had made similar discoveries in the past, including the in-app scheduling tool Instagram released in November and the newer QR code sharing tools before they were made available to the public. In addition to Candid Challenges on Instagram and things in development on Twitter, he often comes across additional internal prototypes.

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Did Instagram Confirm The Code?

While Instagram usually issues a statement when one of its smaller tests or prototypes is uncovered, the business decided to remain silent on this occasion.

But considering Paluzzi's past, it's interesting to speculate on the possible motivations behind Instagram's current consideration of getting paid to get verified on Instagram.

The developer said he discovered other references to a previously unmentioned subscription offer. He pointed out that similar concerns could be found in a recent version of the Facebook program.

However, Paluzzi did warn that apart from these minor code references, nothing is now apparent in the app itself, so we can only conjecture about the paid verification on Instagram until more is revealed.

Instagram’s Current Verification System

Instagram's verification system has been criticized for being too automated, difficult to understand, and arbitrary. Despite Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri's pledge that account verification would be a priority of development in 2020, the system has mostly stayed the same since it allowed users to request verification in 2018.

For the time being, the coveted blue badge continues to be given solely to prominent politicians, actors, and worldwide corporations. Nonetheless, regular consumers and tiny producers have yearned for this acknowledgment for quite some time. As a result, there is a thriving underground market for verification services, with customers paying hundreds of dollars for blue credentials via unofficial channels. Last year, a ProPublica investigation uncovered one of the biggest Instagram verification schemes, forcing Meta to delete badges from hundreds of accounts obtained illegally. That is to say; there is undeniably a need for commercial verification services.

Twitter’s Venture With Paid Blue Badges

Elon Musk shares this view since he has made paid verification a central feature of the redesigned Twitter Blue plan. Unfortunately, Twitter wasn't implemented very efficiently, leading to rampant impersonation on the platform, as users altered their identities and profile pictures to those of famous people or businesses, creating massive disruption. Twitter had to quickly halt paid verification while it redesigned the feature, eventually relaunching it with gold badges for companies and more stringent verification standards.

Twitter's early efforts to commercialize verification were chaotic, but it doesn't imply the concept has no value. More so, AI development may assist in refining the verification procedure. Instagram already employs AI to identify fake profiles created by minors and make personalized suggestions for users.

Furthermore, Twitter is one of many large social platforms gauging subscriber interest in premium services. Power users may sign up for a Snapchat+ membership, which unlocks a slew of bonuses and other tools. This week, during the results call, Snap Inc. said that in less than a year and a half, it had increased the number of Snapchat+ users to over 2 million.

Instagram could provide its power users with a membership package, a paid blue badge, and other perks. It could be clearer whether or not it's working on paid verification on Instagram, but it would be exciting if it did.


Featured image: Instagram


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