Instagram May Be Considering a Paid Subscription Plan with a Blue Badge

Instagram verification

While Twitter did not have the smoothest rollout of its paid “verification” badges, Instagram might be toying with rolling such a feature out too if a few small references in its code are any indication of its plans.

As reported by TechCrunch, developer and noted reverse-engineer Alessandro Paluzzi — who has a record of spotting multiple new Instagram features well before their public launch — found references to a paid subscription plan as well as an associated blue badge in the Meta-owned app’s current code.

“At the moment there are only a few small references in the code about this, nothing visible so, until I post a screenshot that can confirm my assumption, consider it a mere rumor,” he says.

Of note, TechCrunch says that Instagram tends to confirm small tests or prototypes after they are discovered when reached for comment, but this time the company chose not to comment on the rumor when asked by the tech publication. Whether or not that means this is actively being discussed at Instagram is anyone’s guess, but it does at least mean that the situation of its discovery is being treated differently.

While Paluzzi did not share the evidence he found in Instagram’s code on his Twitter account — where he shares most of his data mined information — he did show TechCrunch the code snippet that tipped him off to the possibility of the feature: “IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV” and “FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV.” There are apparently other references to a new type of subscription in Instagram’s code that Paluzzi says weren’t there previously.

While Twitter was derided for weeks during its tumultuous transition to paid verification — mostly due to the fact it was rushed and so poorly rolled out — things have calmed at the newly Elon Musk-owned social network. Musk needed to find new ways to monetize the site as fast as possible given the massive amount of debt he had to take on in order to complete the huge $44 billion acquisition, and since Meta is also not in a particularly good financial state, the company was likely paying close attention to how the Tesla-owner approached his money woes.

Given that the paid verification system has stabilized over at Twitter, it does make sense that Meta would consider a similar system with its own services in order to turn its business back around.

Image credits: Header image created from assets licensed via Depositphotos.