What exactly is a verified Twitter account, and how do you get one?
If you’ve spent any time on Twitter — or any social media platform, for that matter — you’re probably familiar with the blue checkmark. These badges represent verified accounts. A verified account, according to Twitter, is an account of public interest that has been authenticated by the company itself. Basically, it’s Twitter’s way of confirming that you are who you say you are.
It’s easy to see why you’d want to have a verified Twitter account. Recognizability, misinformation reduction, and audience trust are all important reasons why individuals, public figures, and brands seek the blue checkmark. While it is obvious that verification has some advantages, getting verified may not be easy.
Twitter’s verification process has always been a shambles. When the blue checkmark was first introduced in 2009, there was no way to apply for it; Twitter had to bestow it on you. Twitter then launched a public verification program in 2016. After that, the company closed applications in 2017 and did not reopen them until 2021.
Thankfully, Twitter clarified its verification policy, the application process, and which accounts are eligible for verification during that four-year hiatus. Here’s everything you need to know to apply for a blue checkmark.
According to the Verification FAQ on Twitter, eligible accounts “must be notable and active” and fall into one of six categories.
Companies (including brands and nonprofit organizations)
News organizations and journalists
Sports and esports
Activists, organizers, and “other influential individuals”
Don’t worry if you don’t fit into one of these categories but still have an account of interest. When it comes to “other influential individuals,” there’s still a lot of wiggle room — and Twitter is aware of it. For example, when the company announced its new verification policy, it stated that it intended to add categories for academia, scientists, and religious leaders.
Even if you clearly fit into one of these categories, terms like “notable” and “active” can have a subjective feel to them. For the record, a notable account is one that represents or is associated with a high-profile individual or entity. If you’ve been mentioned in the news, have a Wikipedia page, or have a high follower/mention count. If your account has a following of at least 5% in your region, Twitter will consider it notable. These aren’t the only factors that Twitter takes into account. Twitter claims to use a number of “internal signals” as well as third-party sources to determine whether an account is of public interest.