Today our summer intern, Maddie, shares answers to the oft-asked questions regarding social media verification. (UPDATED 8/30/18)
So, what does it mean to be “verified?"
Verification, authenticity, legitimacy, whatever you call it- these terms can all be used to describe the blue check mark symbol that we are all too familiar with on social networking sites. Although it sometimes seems like it, being "verified" does not simply mean that you have millions of followers. This verification symbol can be found on sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and is essentially a legitimacy indicator. If your account has a blue check, this means that the platform has deemed your account as one that is at high risk for impersonation.
How the Hell do you get “verified?”
Social media sites tend to deal with verification in slightly different ways. Below are the 3 most common sites that currently use the verification symbol. While they verify in similar ways, there are slight variations between the three.
Just this week Instagram announced that it will allow users to apply for verified status. The verified badge, universally recognized as a blue check mark means that "Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents." You can apply for verification status (instructions here) but you must meet certain criteria including:
Authentic: Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
Unique: Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. We don't verify general interest accounts (example: @puppymemes).
Complete: Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo and at least one post. Your profile can't contain "add me" links to other social media services.
Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don't consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.
And even if you meet those criteria, Instagram is not guaranteeing verification for all qualified applicants at this point.
Twitter is a little different. This social networking site allows you to submit a request to have your account verified using this link. They even give you some helpful pointers on how to prepare your profile for verification. Essentially, if Twitter has not already given your account the verification checkmark yet and you believe it is necessary for your account to have one, you can request it yourself.
Facebook has two different types of verifications: a blue checkmark and a gray checkmark. According to Facebook, a blue check indicates a public figure, brand, or media company-- Facebook does this form of verifying themselves. However, a gray checkmark represents a business, organization, or company, and this can be done by yourself through the settings page.
It is important to remember that just because you are verified on Facebook does not mean that you are automatically verified on Instagram and Twitter too. Each site individually deals with their verifications.
So, why is verification even a thing?
Sites verify accounts that they have deemed likely to be impersonated. Simply put, social media accounts utilize the verification check to ensure that it is very clear which account is the real deal. Take the most-followed accounts on Instagram-- famous figures like Selena Gomez, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and Justin Bieber are among the top 10 most-followed accounts on Instagram. Being so popular, these people have a multitude of fan pages and accounts claiming to be the “official” person, so the blue check clarifies this for social media users.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
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