The Instagram ‘Blue Tick’ is the envy of every influencer, celebrity, business, and ‘ordinary’ Instagram user. In this guide, we’ll breakdown how to get verified on Instagram, and what it means for your account.
The concept ‘verification‘ on social media platforms is an old one: it was first introduced in 2009 by Twitter to denote that the owner of the account had been ‘verified’ by Twitter: it was who they were claiming to be.
In 2014, Instagram adopted a similar measure, meaning that a blue tick would appear next to the username of an account.
Whilst the blue-tick is desirable, it’s important to note that it does not confer any special benefit to an Instagram account. Verified accounts still have to follow the same rule other accounts do, they aren’t ‘promoted’ over other users.
The main benefit of Instagram verification is social proof.
Users are more likely to respond to, and ‘trust’ a verified account.
This is especially important if you or your brand are at risk of being impersonated.
There are three ways to become verified on Instagram. We’ll discuss the eligibility requirements for these in a moment.
1. You are automatically granted ‘verification’.
This most often happens to high-profile celebrities, public figures, or brands. This happens automatically and is not requested.
2. You request verification through a Facebook representative.
As Facebook owns Instagram, all verification requests go through their Facebook representatives. Facebook ‘reps’ are notoriously difficult to get hold of so most people won’t be able to request verification this way. The Facebook rep will request evidence that you are eligible for verification.
3. You request verification through the Instagram app.
Anyone can request verification on Instagram via the settings tab. However, you will still need to provide evidence that shows you are eligible for verification.
Instagram states that the following criteria are necessary for account verification:
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.
Of course, it’s more complex than this. Instagram uses approximately 100 different tests to see if someone is eligible for verification. They’ll never reveal what these are.
But the most important criterium for verification is notability.
Note: Often smaller accounts, such as those belonging to journalists or sports players will be verified. This is both their organization and Instagram’s way of protecting and verifying their members’ identity and intellectual property.
Instagram makes it clear that you must be a ‘highly-searched for‘ person, brand or entity. This means that unless you rank highly on Google for your own name, and have multiple hits, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be verified.
Of course, most often, notability comes with time. Anyone can become noteworthy by either prospering in a particular field (for example music) or building up a strong personal brand (for example with a large following on another platform like YouTube).
There’s no way to ‘fast-track’ fame if you’re looking to become notable but you can accelerate your personal brand and presence online. Here’s how:
1. Build up a strong following elsewhere
Make sure you have accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and other accounts.
2. Guest-blog and blog on your own website
Blogging is a great way of increasing your presence on search engines. Blog both on your own website, and submit articles to websites with higher domain authority.
3. Pay for ‘PR’
Instagram makes it very clear it does not accept ‘paid-for’ or ‘promotional’ content as sources for review. However, legitimate and organic press-sources may consider this as relevant should they choose to feature you.
Verification on Instagram happens with little or no fanfare. In fact, most Instagram accounts are notified of their verification with nothing more than notification with the following.
As stated previously, being verified on Instagram doesn’t give any special powers to your Instagram account.
‘Verified’ DMs do not automatically go into the primary inbox, and verified accounts do not receive higher reach or engagement.
However, Instagram does recommend that verified Instagram accounts in particular use two-factor authentication with an app like Duo to increase security.
There are thousands of websites and individuals claiming to be able to verify accounts.
Unless these accounts have access to Facebook reps, and your account is already eligible for verification there is an extremely low chance of these websites or individuals being able to verify your account.
What is far more likely is that they will take your money, and run.