Imagine coming across an Instagram account with 23 followers, and a verified blue tick next to its name.
Sounds unusual, right? Well, it is a much more common practice than one might think, as Mashable recently revealed how easy it is to illegally purchase a verified blue tick on Instagram.
How people illegally purchase the blue tick?
To buy a verified account is much easier than what it really seems, albeit a bit risky to all parties involved. Mashable recently did it as a demonstration and here’s how it happened.
A seller by the name of Alejandro Rioja was selling the Instagram blue tick for $6,000. Mashable contacted Rioja and started negotiating the price. Computer geek and digital marketer Rioja had set up a bot on Facebook to hide his identity and de-escalate any potential risk.
Upon an initial deposit of money, Rioja contacted an insider in Instagram to verify an account for Mashable, and within a few days, the account was verified.
The Verified Badge Culture: What’s the fuss all about?
There is no doubt that the process of purchasing the blue tick is illegal, but also heavily associated with risk and potential negative consequences. Furthermore, it is an extremely costly process as highlighted above. Exorbitant fees are paid to get a blue tick. So, why are IG users so willing to do it? Here’s what we actually got:
The resounding reason is that Instagram users with the ‘blue tick’ have the potential to earn a lot of money. There are 700 million active Instagram users on a monthly basis, making it a marketer’s paradise.
Mediakix estimates that brands spend over $1 billion a year on Instagram marketing. Cara Delevigne, for example, earns about $150,000 per Instagram post.
Who wouldn’t want to have a verified badge next to their profile and name on Instagram? It’s deeply ingrained. As a kid, the more ‘correct ticks’ you have on your test, the better you are programmed to feel about yourself. The brain has a surge in dopamine released through the neurotransmitter to make you feel better each time something good happens to you. Therefore, deep down, people are subliminally programmed to long for that blue tick and own one ASAP.
Verified accounts have a huge number of users and therefore mean greater influence. Having this verification badge allows the account users to have a ready audience for their posts and will be in a position to influence their followers to buy their products or services, thereby expanding your customer base. Aside from making your account look respectable and credible, the blue tick lets you appear at the top of the list during searches on Instagram, and that’s really a big thing as far as online marketing is concerned.
What are the best ways to legitimately get the ‘blue tick’?
The phenomenon of buying verified blue ticks arose from the fact that is quite hard to get a verified account on Instagram in the first place. It is a complicated process. Here is how it usually happens:
- Get in contact with one of these above-mentioned individuals through conferences, internet searches or via contacts.
- Submitting identification documents (passport) alongside verifiable contacts from other social media platforms.
- It’s then generally a back and forth between the two parties to get the account fully verified.
Instagram’s official stance, however, is that there is no ‘official process’ to get an account verified. So it makes it quite hard to get a profile verified if that is the goal.
Is it all worth it?
For an Instagram user, it is definitely better to have the blue tick than not. The effort and risk required have a proven reward. The temptation to buy an Instagram blue tick is tempting, but not really advisable. We all know that in the long run, things always have a way of coming to the surface.
From a social media marketing point of view, it is logic to collaborate with verified and popular accounts. Don’t get caught by a fake account — a simple “number of follower checks” and a cross-check with other social media accounts should do the trick.