Instagram’s verification policy has been tweaked through the years, but it might soon be a feature you’ll need to pay for. Thanks to some magic we call reverse engineering, developer Alessandro Paluzzi figured out that paid subscription badges are in the works for both Instagram and Facebook.
Alessandro found two indicators in the app’s code: “IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV” and “FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV.” Speaking to TechCrunch, he noted that “IDV” could stand for “identity verification”, and that’s it’s also a known meaning for the acronym.
#Instagram is working on a subscription plan which includes the blue badge 👀
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) February 2, 2023
The developer notes that this is the only indicator of paid subscriptions so far and that there’s nothing else visible in the app itself that could refer to the new paid feature. “Until I post a screenshot that can confirm my assumption, consider it a mere rumor,” he wrote in a tweet.
Considering that Instagram’s verification system is pretty complicated and random, it may not be a bad idea to pay to have your account verified. But it’s a double-edged sword. If all you need to do to get verified is whip out your credit card, what will stop users from impersonating public figures? Probably nothing. Instagram asks “suspicious” accounts to upload their ID for verification, but so far, I’ve only seen it being suspicious about my friends who are designers, photographers, and all kinds of artists. And none of them are verified, by the way, nor have they broken any of Instagram’s rules.
Anyhow, as Alessandro notes, this is still a rumor. Meta reportedly refused to comment on his findings, so I guess we just have to wait and see if this will become a part of the app.