Instagram may be considering offering a paid certification to its users. This is at least what emerges from a few lines of code discovered by the specialist in this kind of investigation Alessandro Paluzzi. The developer shared screenshots of the app’s code to TechCrunch, showing the strings
“IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV” and “FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV”.
Soon a paid certification on Instagram and Facebook?
These texts explicitly mention the “paid blue badge”, most likely about the blue checkmarks that certified users have on the platform. FB and IG refer to Facebook and Instagram, which could indicate that Meta is considering certifying users for a fee on these two platforms. IDV, as TechCrunch points out, is a popular acronym for “identity verification”. Alessandro Paluzzi discovered many features that still need to be deployed in the past, including a BeReal-like feature and an Instagram post scheduler.
Would Meta be eyeing the Twitter Model?
In addition, the developer has also discovered code referring to a new type of subscription, but it has yet to be determined if it is directly related to paid certification. Twitter Blue is a subscription service that costs $8 or $11 a month and gives users access to that certification checkmark on the platform and some experimental features. Offering a paid certification was one of Elon Musk’s first initiatives when he took over as head of Twitter, making Blue more attractive to customers. Its launch was, however, quite catastrophic; the company had then implemented no safeguards to prevent anyone from impersonating anyone or any organization.
If Meta develops a paid certification, it must find a way to avoid repeating Twitter’s mistakes, especially since Instagram users are likely to rush to have their account certified when we know how difficult it is currently to have the blue badge on the app. There’s even an Instagram certification black market, with people sometimes shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to get the blue checkmark next to their handle. TechCrunch specifies that Meta did not wish to comment on Alessandro Paluzzi’s discovery, so it is difficult to know if the giant is working on such a function. To be continued!