If you religiously follow an influencer, content creator, or business, it’s because you have a certain level of trust. Trust that they are who they say they are and there’s no deceiving game going on. But how can you ever know for sure?
This used to be impossible and there were impostors by the dozen on any social platform. It was entirely too difficult to tell the difference between a real and a fake account of an individual or business. That is until Twitter introduced account verification in 2009.
Account verification enables the individual or business to display to the social public that they are real and that the account belongs to them. This is usually denoted by a small blue tick mark next to the username or handle.
Getting your account verified on a social platform not only proves ownership but also makes it easier for people to look you up, follow, and engage with the account.
In this article, I’ll tell you how you can get your account verified and also share a few basic dos and don’t when applying for the verification.
Instagram introduced account verification in 2018. It is arguably the most difficult platform to get verified on. Of course, this does not apply if you’re famous. If your account has not been verified yet, but you have a large following, Instagram will check your bio and content and if they think it’s authentic, will automatically verify your account and give you the coveted blue tick.
The procedure to request verification is pretty straightforward.
- You need to go to your Instagram settings
- Select account
- Select request verification.
- You then fill out the verification form and submit what is asked – Name and ID to confirm authenticity, Category, audience, aliases to confirm notability, and Links to news articles or other social media accounts that mention your account. These links work as references.
- Once you submit it, you’ll be notified of the status within 30 days.
The results will show up in your notifications section. If your request was not approved, you can try again after another 30 days.
It’s meeting the criteria that are very difficult, especially if you’re someone that others will want to impersonate.
Firstly, your account has to be public. You cannot verify a private account. Next, you need to make sure you’re following all of Instagram’s guidelines. You also need to make sure you’re posting enough engaging content that will increase your follower count. Your bio should be clear, complete, and have enough identifying information.
If you fulfill these criteria, you can proceed to fill out the verification request form.
Twitter, as I mentioned, was the first to introduce account verification in 2009. Getting your Twitter account verified is fairly easy and the app states the processing time is around 14 days. For Twitter, you need to be Active, Authentic, and Notable.
Once you fulfill the below criteria, you can request Twitter for Verification from your account settings.
Active — Your bio needs to be clear, complete, and updated (including your profile name and image). It needs to be public and you need to have logged in at least in the last 6 months. Your follower and mentions count must also be high. The email address and phone number connected must be confirmed. And lastly, to be eligible, you must not have had any kind of lockout for violating Twitter rules.
Authentic — You must submit proof of authenticity. This can be a link to any official website, whose Twitter is already verified, that references you and your Twitter account. If you’re an individual, you can submit government-issued identification. For businesses and organizations, you can provide an official email id with a relevant domain. If the domain is associated with a verified Twitter account, you’re eligible.
Notable — The account will be eligible if the account is associated with a prominent business, brand, or individual. Twitter will verify this by follower count, Twitter mentions, mentions in the news, Google News, Wikipedia, and others. They will also verify the identification of the individual controlling the account.
Facebook introduced account verification in 2013. They introduced it to make it easier for people to look for influencers, content creators, businesses, and brands. In 2015, Facebook introduced a separate badge, the Grey Badge, for businesses. However, because of confusion among users, they decided to stop the Grey Badge and stick to the blue verification badges for all accounts that request it and meet the criteria.
The criteria for Facebook are pretty similar to the others:
Authentic — The account represents a real person or business
Unique — There is only one account or page for the business/individual, barring language or region-specific accounts
Complete — Profile and bio (about us) must be clear, complete, and updated
Notable — Must be prominent among individuals or businesses and mentioned in multiple news sources.
The verification form will ask you to first select between a page or a profile. After that, you have to provide identification documentation to confirm the authenticity and then in the next step, you mention your category, region, audience description, and aliases. For additional proof, you can also share links to valid sources that mention your profile or page.
YouTube has 2 different kinds of verification. They have account verification and channel verification. Although most people think this might mean the same thing, account verification is something that anyone can complete. It’s the channel verification that is wanted by YouTubers around the world.
Although it’s not the desired verification, it’s super helpful to get your account verification done first. This is done by verifying a valid phone number. All you need to do is go to this site.
Select how you want to receive the verification code, select your country, enter your phone number, and click submit. Once you get the code, enter it and click submit.
Voila! Your account is verified. You can now use custom thumbnails, live-stream, and upload videos longer than 15 minutes.
This will help you create content and rack up a good subscriber count. For YouTube Channel verification, the eligibility includes 3 things. 100,000 subscriber count, proof of authenticity, and a complete bio including a channel banner, profile picture, and description. You must also actively publish content on your channel to be considered.
Once your channel is verified, it will stay verified until you change your channel name. If you change the name, you’ll have to re-apply. YouTube also reserves the right to revoke the verification badge if you do not follow community guidelines or terms of service.
In all my research to write this article, I’ve seen that it’s very to actually fill the request forms for account verification.
The hard work comes in when you have to prove yourself eligible to get the verification badges. Here are some important tips to remember when you decide you want to apply for verification.
– Make sure you’re publishing content every day to grow your reach.
– Do not fall for ‘Pay for Badge’ schemes. No platform charges for this.
– Be honest in your application.
– Keep a lookout for imposter accounts.
– Capitalize on the times when you’re mentioned in multiple sources so you can add links to your application for reference.