Instagram has set out to thwart duplicity with an option to authenticate high-profile accounts at the Facebook-owned image or video sharing social network.
Blue badges displayed at Instagram accounts will indicate holders have gone through a verification process that includes providing photos of identity documentation, according to chief technology officer Mike Krieger.
“Keeping people with bad intentions off our platform is incredibly important to me,” Krieger said in an online post. “That means trying to make sure the people you follow and the accounts you interact with are who they say they are, and stopping bad actors before they cause harm.”
The long-awaited feature comes as Facebook battles to prevent the social network or its messaging platforms from being taken advantage of by those out to spread misinformation.
Verification badges are intended to enable Instagram users to know when posts actually come from accounts of celebrities, notable public figures, big brands or well-known organisations.
“We will review verification requests to confirm the authenticity, uniqueness, completeness and notability of each account,” Krieger said.
In coming weeks, profiles of accounts with huge audiences will start showing more information, such as when they were created, where it is located, and what ads it may be running, according to Instagram.
Instagram it June announced it passed a billion active users, and unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract “creators” like those on YouTube.
It became the fourth Facebook platform to hit the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the messaging applications WhatsApp and Messenger.
Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012 for a combination of cash and stock worth some $1bn at the time.
While Facebook offers no detailed revenue breakdown, eMarketer estimated Instagram will generate $5.48 billion in net US ad revenue this year, up 70.4 per cent from last year and accounting for more than one-fourth of Facebook’s net mobile ad revenue.