Bots. Trolls. Fake accounts. While social media platforms are working to combat these fake users through algorithm changes and bots of their own, they can't eradicate these fakes completely. We’ve seen a delivery guy impersonate Trump family members to spread conspiracy theories, Amazon defenders that were actually bots, and news outlet impersonators spreading fake news about the 2020 U.S. elections.
So instead of eradicating all the fakes, Twitter recently announced that they were bringing back the account verification program.
You can now apply to be Twitter verified and receive a blue checkmark next to your name that tells users that your account isn't a spammer, troll, or bot—it's the real deal. To become verified on Twitter, you need to confirm your identity, have a notable presence on and off Twitter, have an active Twitter account, and send in a request for consideration as a verified user.
It is especially important for micro-influencers, thought leaders, and small businesses to apply for verification and get that blue badge so that fake accounts cannot impersonate them. Having a verified Twitter profile makes it harder for scammers to use your name to spread misinformation, hold fake contests to steal your followers’ information, and more—that eventually leads to mistrust.
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How to get verified on Twitter: A step-by-step guide
Here’s what you need to do to get verified on Twitter:
- Make sure your profile meets Twitter’s activity standards.
- Go into your account settings and start the verification process by clicking “request verification.”
- A popup will appear telling you more about Twitter verification—click “Start Now.”
- Tell Twitter who you are by selecting the right category.
- Provide proof that you've selected the right category (e.g., your official website, articles about you, etc.).
- Verify your identity by providing an official email address, website, or government-issued ID.
- Click “submit” and wait for Twitter to get back to you.
Note: The “verified” link should appear as the fourth entry in your account information settings. If you see it but cannot click it, your account does not meet Twitter’s eligibility criteria.
3 account requirements defined by Twitter
With the release of Twitter’s most recent verification guidelines, getting verified on Twitter is clearer than ever. Your account needs to have three characteristics—active, notable, and authentic—to even be considered as a candidate for verification.
1. Your Twitter account needs to be active
An active Twitter account has a profile name and profile image, has been logged into at least once in the last six months, and has a confirmed email address or phone number attached to it. You also need to make sure that you haven't violated any Twitter rules in the past six months that could have warranted a 12-hour or seven-day lockout.
Twitter also recommends that you set your profile name as your real name or brand name, that your profile photo and cover photo accurately represent what you’re about, and that your bio mentions an area of expertise or company mission—really sell yourself.
If you want to make sure that your account activity meets Twitter’s standards, we recommend building a regular posting schedule a few weeks to a month before you turn in your verification request. Here are two easy steps:
- Hop on to Buffer and fill up your content calendar with tweets for the next 30 days.
- Be sure to engage with your followers in mentions and direct messages (easily done with Buffer Engage).
When you're sure that your account is active, you can proceed to send your Twitter account in for verification.
2. Your Twitter account needs to be notable
Your account needs to be affiliated with an influential or prominent brand or personality. Notability is important during the verification process, as the first thing you’ll need to do is “Tell us who you are.” Here are the six notability categories from Twitter:
1. The Government category is for state- and federal-level government officials, public offices, official candidates, public utilities, and other people in leadership.
2. The companies, brands, and organizations category is for prominent companies, brands, and organizations—such as non-profit organizations, startups, and small businesses—and the leaders of those entities.
3. News organizations and journalists is for official news organizations, including magazines, newspapers, broadcast and cable TV, as well as individual journalists.
4. Entertainment is for organizations in the entertainment industry—music production companies, film festivals, TV networks, etc.
5. Sports and gaming is for official sports leagues, esports leagues, sports teams, and other sports organizations.
6. Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals is for individuals of high public interest who fall outside of the professional categories above—medical professionals, local public figures and political leaders, etc.—but are still prone to getting impersonated.
To qualify for your category, you’ll need to provide proof that you do, indeed, belong to that category. For example, if you want to get your account verified as a journalist, you need to provide links to three bylines or credits in qualified publications.
Read more about each category and the requirements here.
3. Your Twitter account needs to be authentic
Your account needs to be authentic, meaning you need to be who you say you are. There are three ways you can verify your identity to Twitter:
- Provide a link to your website (the website needs to have a clear link to your account).
- Provide a photo of an official government-issued ID.
- Provide an official email address with a relevant domain.
You need to upload your proof of identity while filling out your verification form, so have the information on hand before you hit “Start Now.”
Why it’s important to be Twitter verified
There are a lot of obvious benefits to having a verified account:
- You might get more followers.
- You gain trust and respect from the community.
- You are immediately recognized as an influencer or authority.
- You can defend yourself against impersonation attempts.
It’s the last two points that might be the most important.
That blue verified badge on your profile means that you will always have a closer connection to other verified users. Your likes, replies, and retweets of other verified users can never be hidden. You're also protecting yourself from impersonators who want to use your influence to forward their own agendas—whether it's to spread fake news and conspiracy theories, spam your followers, or steal your followers' personal information.
Moving forward, Twitter is planning to expand categories to include other influential persons such as scientists, academics, and more. They are also planning to add more functionality to profiles by creating different types of accounts (e.g., automated accounts, memorialized accounts) and adding an “about” page.
Being verified ensures that your content and your interactions always remain visible for the maximum number of Twitter users possible.
Get verified to show your followers that you're the real you
The Twitter verified symbol shows your followers that they aren't accidentally following a fake account. But in addition, it's the only way Twitter users can definitively say that an account is authentic. It adds an extra layer of protection for both users and account owners, stems the spread of fake news, and, on the whole, improves the user experience.
If your verification request is denied the first time, you can definitely put in another request after 30 days. There is no limit to how many times you can request verification.
Follow @Verified on Twitter for the latest Twitter verification updates and guidelines. And after you're verified and ready to grow your Twitter account, head on to Buffer and try out our content scheduling app that makes it easier to plan your tweets ahead of time, engage with your followers, and analyze results.