You can change your Twitter handle countless times, but one thing will always hold the ultimate power over legitimacy: Twitter verification. Any Twitter user will recognize the white check-mark in a blue circle that appears beside a Twitter handle. It exudes authenticity and looks oh so official. It indicates that you are the real version of you.
And if there is one question I get asked most often, it’s how to get verified on Twitter. What was meant to curb instances of impersonation has transformed into something that’s closely associated with whether or not someone is famous. And if society’s obsession with the Kardashians has taught us anything, it’s that if all public figures have something, everyone else wants it too. But before you try and get your own check mark by your name, I’m here to tell you the ins and outs.
First and foremost, it’s time for the cold, hard truth: Twitter verification is only really granted to public figures and people that are considered leaders in their respective industry. That can include business, journalism, politics–the list goes on and on. Up until recently, there was no way to apply for verification. There is a super secret department at Twitter that regulates verification, and the only way to get their attention was if you contacted Twitter directly through their ads department.
But things are changing. As of July 2016, it’s become a whole lot easier to become verified. Gone are the days of waiting for Twitter to verify you. Now there’s an application process that can be done by simply filling out a form. Some people are thrilled. Others aren't happy, saying this feels desperate. What do I think? I think it's nice. It’s great that people will have more control over the process, instead of just playing a waiting game. But now that it's open to the public, you can expect a lot of people seeking verification that don’t qualify. I don’t care how many likes you get on your dog’s Instagram, that doesn’t mean it deserves verification on Twitter. I'm not envious of the people in the Twitter verification department, having to sift through garbage.
But for those who really do qualify to be verified, here’s how the new process works:
The form asks for simple stuff–your name, phone number, email address, as well as evidence as to why you should be verified. It helps to show other pages that you have that have been verified, like Instagram or Facebook. You’re basically building a case to argue that you are a public figure and you do in fact meet the criteria to be verified.
Another thing to note: Twitter favors real names and accurate profile photos. Make sure that you are yourself as your Twitter profile photo. Also note that just because you've submitted doesn't mean you will get verified. The chances are very slim. Only 187,000 accounts are verified out of 310 million monthly active users. That means that .0006 of all Twitter users are verified. I’m no math whiz, but I do know that that’s incredibly low.
Lastly, don't get too stressed out about it. I’ll let you in on a little secret: verification really doesn't mean anything. If you've listened to my podcast episode with Jason Carter (of Rupaul's Drag Race fame), you'll know how inconsequential that check-mark really is.