You know that little blue checkmark next to the user-name on your favorite celebrity or business accounts? That indicates that Twitter verified the account as real, and it’s kind of a big deal. Verification also brings access to a couple of nifty features.
On the notifications tabs you’ll be able to view notifications from “all”, “mentions” and “verified”, so you can see what other verified accounts are mentioning you.
You’ll also be able to opt out of the dreaded group direct message through your settings page. WOOHOO!
If you love Periscope and Vine just log into those accounts and disconnect from Twitter. Then reconnect and voila, you’re verified on all 3.
Who gets a Twitter verified badge?
According to Twitter “An account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest. Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.”
Obviously, this doesn’t indicate any more than Twitter has checked to see if the information you supply is real and doesn’t imply any relationship or endorsement by Twitter.
How to get verified
Basically, you need to have an account that is established, and a completed profile. This means:
- A header photo
- Profile photo
- Birthdate (edit your settings to show only you, and not required for businesses or organizations)
- Valid email address
- Link to your website
These aren’t required but it makes sense that you:
- Follow and have followers as well as some valid conversations
- Post content relevant to your business or personal platform or expertise
- Your Twitter account should represent a real or stage name for individuals
- Organization and business accounts should post relevant content
Once you’ve got this done, go to this form to apply for a verified Twitter account
You’ll log in, then be asked for your username and a few questions about why you should be verified. What is your impact in your area of expertise? See the list above for accounts most likely to be verified. Choose your website links carefully to show Twitter you are who you say you are. You will be asked for a form of identification. This could be a photo of a passport or driver’s license for individuals or business documents for a business.
After a couple of weeks, you’ll see the badge show up on your profile. If you are denied, you can re-apply in 30 days.
Is there a downside to Twitter verification?
Not much, but accounts that are verified do seem to get a bit more noise from the spammers, that’s when that opting out of group direct message chats can be helpful. I’ve also noticed an influx of new followers, perhaps people who follow verified accounts?
This is a good time to check to see what apps have access to your account. I highly recommend removing all but essential apps as this is a great pathway for hackers. While you’re there, check your settings and consider adding verification.
Another way hackers can take over your Twitter account is through the email address attached to your account. Make sure that is secure (please tell me you already know this!)
Losing verified status
Of course, this verification is up to Twitter. Violate their terms of service, change your settings to make tweets private or radically change the purpose of your account and they’ll bounce you. Once unverified you can’t get it back.