Before social media platforms began verifying accounts, we kind of just had to guess whether a profile really belonged to a celebrity. You could search for any A-lister and find hundreds of fake profiles with no way of knowing which one was real.
To help with this imposter culture, many social media platforms began verifying celebrity profiles to help users determine that the account they followed was the actual celebrity. Down the line, the verification feature also became available to brands so users could connect with companies without fear of wasting their time over a fake account.
What does it mean to be verified on Twitter?
If a Twitter account is verified, it means the profile has been authenticated by Twitter and the person is who they say they are. Verified accounts are identifiable by a small blue checkmark next to the user's name.
With more than 335 million active users on Twitter, you can bet many of those profiles were created to imitate, satirize, or serve as fan pages for people of public interest. The verified badge confirms that all tweets coming from that profile are credible and can be reasonably linked to the main user or brand, unless otherwise stated.
For rising stars and new businesses, the blue checkmark means you've (almost) made it. Or at least that Twitter thinks your brand is relevant enough to the general public to warrant a verified page. Verification gives you instant credibility in the eyes of users that visit your page or see your tweets on their feed. In this article, we will share exactly what steps you need to take to earn the blue check and how to keep your account from potentially losing its verified status.
Who can get verified on Twitter?
The process of getting approved for verification is somewhat subjective. Despite your efforts, it's important to note that Twitter is ultimately in charge of accepting or rejecting requests for verification.
According to Twitter's guidelines, your account has to be deemed "an account of public interest" in order to qualify. The guidelines specify that users in entertainment, government, sports, fashion, and media primarily fall within this criteria. It's especially important to verify people who work in journalism and politics to ensure that Twitter users know they're getting accurate information and news reporting during times of crisis.
Aside from individual users, brand accounts also fall into this bucket. Why would a brand need to be verified? Surprisingly, for a lot of the same reasons a human might want to be. Reputation is everything, and brands spend a lot of time working on their reputations, as well as how they communicate with the public. If false profiles are impersonating your brand, it’s possible they could send out a message you did not approve.
How to verify your Twitter account
The actual process of getting verified on Twitter is much like an application for any sort of clearance. Keep in mind that the there is no difference between getting a brand or a personal account verified - the steps are all the same.
First, you have to have the right information accurately listed on your profile. This includes:
Having a profile photo
Having a cover photo
Having your bio completely filled out
Using your brand name on your profile
Including a website that you have either for yourself, your business, your publication, etc.
Having a confirmed email address and phone number listed
Account must be public
Filling out the verification form and providing necessary identification documents, such as a passport or other government-issued identification documents
After you’ve filled out the documentation, you will have to make your case for verification. Twitter will want to know why you deserve it over other brands or organizations. One way to prove your relevance is to provide links to recent media coverage of your company. For example, if your CEO is in the news for good reason, that could be worth sharing.
Tip: The same rules apply if you are requesting verification for a personal account. Any documentation or website that would help confirm your identity or status as a public figure would be relevant to include.
Once you have completed all of the steps, you simply have to wait for approval or denial.
Twitter warns that verification can be revoked at any time if an account is misused. Such instances include:
Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one's display name or bio.
Promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. And, likewise, supporting organizations or individuals that promote the above.
Inciting or engaging in harassment of others.
Violence and dangerous behavior.
Directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
Violent, gruesome, shocking, or disturbing imagery.
Self-harm or suicide.
Engaging in activity on Twitter that violates the Twitter Rules.
The opinions on whether Twitter should be able to block such parody accounts are mixed, but one thing is certain: fake accounts exist, and the verified check mark helps us separate the real deals from the wannabes.
How long does it take to get verified on Twitter?
There is no set period of time it will take to get verified on Twitter. The entire process is fairly subjective, as Twitter goes through many requests and applications to determine who makes that particular cut.
The acceptance or denial will be emailed to whichever email is on file for the Twitter account. Make sure the email on file is one you check regularly. What could be more disappointing than getting approved for this elite club of brands and celebrities, only to miss it due to an ignored inbox?
If you are denied, the good news is it’s not the end. Twitter lets you continue to apply with one caveat: you have to wait 30 days.
If you get rejected the first time, use those 30 days and make them count. Beef up your profile. Get a legitimate graphic or branded banner for your Twitter profile. Make some attempts to get in the news or have users write reviews for your brand.
How much does it cost to get verified on Twitter?
Becoming verified on Twitter isn’t about how much money you have. It’s about whether your identity, product, or content is noteworthy enough that it should require authentication.
It could be helpful to pursue Twitter marketing strategies that increase your follower count. This will beef up your profile and help you in the noteworthy department. Instead of pursuing monetary strategies, try various ways to make your presence worthy of verification.
Verification means Twitter trusts that you are who you say you are, meaning others are more likely to trust you too. If you want to become verified, either for yourself, a client, or your business, follow the instructions above. If at first, you fail, or they're still not accepting applications, try, and try again.
Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, worked in Chicago, and is now a proud New Yorker. (she/her/hers)