Saturday, September 2, 2017

"Inside the black market where people pay thousands of dollars for Instagram verification"

Mashable:

The blue emblem can help people gain legitimacy in the business of influencer marketing and bestows some credibility within Instagram's community of 700 million monthly active users. It cannot be requested online or purchased, according to Instagram's policies. It is Instagram's velvet rope.

...

James said he got into the market for verification via an Instagram direct message. Previously, he had been buying and selling Instagram accounts that had popular or one-word names, and he decided to message someone with an interesting handle (a.k.a. username). That someone said they were able to take over that account because he worked at Instagram.

And that was the start of a side-business. James would find people who would pay for verification, and his friend on the inside of Instagram would make it happen.

...

Getting that blue check is getting harder. Just a year ago, James said his contact at Instagram was able to do five name transfers a week. Now, it's more like two per week and "maybe one to two verifications," he said.