A blue checkmark next to someone’s name in many social networks has become a sort of status symbol recently due to the small icon conveying some sort of importance. Those who wear it appear to be part of an elite clique of people who have gained public standing of sorts.
According to Instagram’s own guidelines:
“A verified badge is a check that appears next to an Instagram account’s name in search and on the profile. It means Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”
In many ways, this is exactly what the verification system for Instagram and many others represents. It’s why some influencers who may have several thousand followers may have some difficulty acquiring such a verification.
Instagram, much like Twitter and Facebook, isn’t very clear on what the requirements are for gaining this little blue icon next to one’s name. However, looking at the purpose with which the icon was designed and finding attributes that are common among influencers that have it may help paint a picture of how one would become verified.
Verified accounts on social media sites were created with the intention of filtering out impostors to a particular account. Therefore, it’s rarely deemed necessary by the likes of Instagram to go through the effort of verifying your account if the possibility that people will try to pass as you is unlikely.
So what does it take to get your Instagram account verified?
To get within the radar of social networks, you first need some form of “objective” popularity. This means that the likelihood that you’ll be verified on Instagram increases as you’re mentioned in the press.
That popularity also means that it’s very likely that someone will create a fake account claiming to be you.
It’s not enough to be mentioned by some no-name news outlet; you need a highly-circulated paper to actually make a story that includes you as a “protagonist.”
If you’re well-known enough that someone else went through the effort of making an entire Wikipedia page about you, and it’s remained on the site long enough that it wouldn’t be taken down by editors who do not believe you’re noteworthy enough to merit inclusion, then the likelihood of having a verification checkmark increases even more.
It also helps to have a website or blog that revolves around your own individual brand, or that you contribute to other sites. If you want a blue checkmark for your business, it helps if your brand name were trademarked.
Instagram’s requirements for a verification badge
- 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.
Steps to request a verified badge on Instagram
- Make sure you’re logged in to the account you’re requesting a verified badge for.
- Go to your profile and tap the menu button.
- Tap Settings > Account > Request Verification.
- Enter your full name and provide the required form of identification (for example: government-issued photo ID).
Whether social networks intended it or not, the famous “blue checkmark” verification system has become a status symbol specifically because it depicts the popularity and standing of an individual in the online world.