Until July 2016, you had to be lucky enough to be one of the “highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas” to be hand-selected by Twitter to have your account verified, giving you a nice little blue tick next to your Twitter handle.
As of this week, Twitter is opening the verification process for everyone. All you have to do is fill out a verification request form on the Twitter website – more info here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20174631. You will need a verified phone number and email address, and an account that has good standing status (cover image and profile picture).
Here’s a quick list of the main things you will need to input into the verification form:
- Your account needs to be verified with a phone number. This can be done here (note, I had issues with the desktop version, so did this through the app)
- The URLs of at least two sites that verify who you are (e.g. brand website, blog, LinkedIn profile)
- A short description (500 characters) as to why you feel the account should be verified
Whilst the verification process is open for everyone, Twitter are still leaning towards profiles that are determined to be of public interest.
“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,” said Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of user services. “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.”
It is unclear why Twitter is opening up the verification process to everyone, but one reason could be the increasing levels of trolling and abuse that occurs across normal accounts. Up until now, verified Twitter users could change their notification settings to only receive replies, mentions or likes from other verified Twitter users.
Open up the verification process could be Twitter’s first move to combat the growing levels of abuse on the platform.
But could trolls and abusers gain the blue checkmark is the verification process is open for everyone? Unlikely. Twitter’s support page says it will do everything to verify accounts that are of public interest, and have taken every verification step to ensure profiles are up to date and valid. This includes people and brands who use their real name, as well as a profile or header photo that accurately represents the person or brand. You can also provide URLs to support the request, such as your brand website or personal blog.
I’ve processed my verification request during this blog post, so will update this post to inform you of the outcome and how long the process takes in a few days!