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The Big “V”


Sep. 1 2017, Published 6:17 p.m. ET


Looking through your Instagram profile, you feel like a proud parent. The photographs are high quality and you have the loyal followers who like and comment. Plus, your follower/following ratio is just where you want it to be. But there’s one thing missing. The symbol. The tiny blue check next to your name that officially grants you a  spot in the Instagram worthy club. It holds a lot of weight that the average Instagram user cannot hold. This is why being verified on social media is hard; Instagram is one of the apps that deems the most difficult passage to verification. As a result, people go through illegal and expensive processes to be among the social media elite.

Kerry Flynn from Mashable dug a little deeper into the Instagram black market (yes that is a real thing). Users can purchase verification for up to $15,000 through a middle man, who is in contact with someone who works for the social media company. Although you can pay your way in, official forms have to be submitted so the person(s) conducting the process is not caught. While “verified” users are happy with the elevated status, people in the business are not to mad either. Yes, it is a risky process but the middle man can earn enough money to make a living out of selling verification symbols.  To find out more about the verification black market, click here.

In a generation where social media is a major role in society, paying thousands of dollars for an Instagram status is not shocking. It’s presence has created a culture that centers around approval from others. The number of followers and likes becomes so important that people use the figures to justice self-worth and success, adding to pressures of social media.

So what’s the takeaway? Getting Instagram status will take a lot of green to receive a little bit of blue.

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