Where there’s money to be made on the internet you can bet that Meta’s not far behind. Instagram, possibly inspired by recent events over at Twitter, may be considering paid verification for its users.
That speculation is the result of some code mining within the app. Developer Alessandro Paluzzi has been poking around in Insta’s app and has discovered a couple of very suggestive references.
Authenticity on Instagram? Surely not?
Paluzzi, speaking to TechCrunch, shared screenshots of the references. They suggest that Insta is acting true to form for Meta in ‘borrowing’ features it thinks might be beneficial. The references (“IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV” and “FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV”) suggest that payments could be responsible for awarding blue “IDV” (possibly ‘identity verification’) badges to some Instagram users.
The developer also claims to have found mention in the code of an unannounced subscription system. This same code is apparently visible in some versions of Facebook’s app. But, it’s worth pointing out, these are small references that may or may not have greater implications for users later. Nothing official exists at this point in time.
If Meta is planning to do something more effective with its Instagram verification system, it probably won’t find too many complaints turning up. Securing verification on the platform is an arcane process unless you’re already legitimately famous. Charging for a shortcut that doesn’t suck would probably scoop up a substantial chunk of user-generated revenue for the company.