Twitter has announced that anyone can now apply for a verified account and receive the coveted blue badge icon next to their name. Why is this of interest? Well, the blue verified badge lets people know that an account is authentic.
Previously, you couldn’t ask to be verified. It just happened on what appeared to be a fairly arbitrary basis! Verification marks were handed out to the lucky few who tended to be public figures, brands, journalists, artists, politicians, athletes, and other designated high-profile people.
The change means that more people can join the 187,000 club of verified accounts which represent only 0.06% of users. But before its remaining 320 million monthly active users get overly excited, there is a catch.
To join, interested parties have to complete an online form requesting admission. Twitter is asking for, wait for it: a real or stage name, a verified phone number, a confirmed email address, a biography, a profile photo, a header photo, a birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organisation accounts), a website and Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings. But, there’s more – an explanation as to why they should verify the account, and for some users, an uploaded copy of their passport or driver’s license!
An account will only be verified if Twitter decides that it is an account of public interest. So, really not quite anyone is it!
But, to give them their due, they were the first platform to introduce account verification back in 2009, and this is still a significant step forward. According to Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s VP of User Services; “We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification. We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience.”