Until a few months ago, the coveted blue checkmark on Instagram was reserved for major celebrities, public figures, and global brands. Things are about to change, though, as the social media platform now allows its users to request verification themselves and earn a verified badge.
Of course, just because you have submitted a request for verification doesn’t mean that you’ll actually see the blue checkmark next to your name on Instagram. While you don’t have to be a world-famous celebrity to have your account verified, there are still certain requirements that you need to meet in order to be eligible.
The Road to the Verified Badge
In 2014, Instagram was one of the last major social media platforms to introduce the verified badge. The steady rise in popularity led to an influx of fake Instagram profiles claiming to belong to major celebrities. After a few famous figures publicly spoke out about this, the platform decided to put an end to these deceptive practices and start rolling out verified profiles.
At first, verified profiles were only available to brands and celebrities that the powers that be believed had the most chance of being impersonated. Soon afterward, any notable public figure or global brand could have their official account verified. As for regular users, even if you were a minor internet celebrity, having your account verified could be very tricky.
Unless you could earn a verified badge based on name recognition alone, you had to hire a digital agency or a publicist to do it for you. They would submit a request via Facebook’s and Instagram’s Media Support portal and usually get a response within a day or two. The response wasn’t always positive, which prompted many Instagrammers to obtain the coveted status symbol via alternative means.
This created a black market of sorts, where people were paying anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars to have their profile verified. In most cases, a person who knew an Instagram employee or engineer would have them verify a user’s profile in return for a sizable fee. They would then split the fee and, within a few days, the buyer would have the blue checkmark proudly displayed on their Instagram profile.
The Benefits of Having a Verified Account
For many users, the verified badge is little more than a status symbol that gives them bragging rights on Instagram. While this is perfectly legitimate, there are a few other reasons why you may want to have your account verified.
Simply put, the little blue checkmark helps you build trust with your followers. If they can see it on your profile, they will know that you are the real deal and will thus be more likely to interact with the content you post. The verified badge also helps you take down any impersonators who create fake accounts in an effort to ridicule you, discredit you, or harm your reputation in any other way.
It is also worth noting that some new features on Instagram are first rolled out to verified users. For example, before Instagram introduced shoppable tags for all Business users, only verified accounts had access to this feature. Seeing as Instagram is constantly adding new features, the verified badge could give you early access to brand new functions that could help you generate more traffic, clicks, or sales.
Getting Your Instagram Account Verified
Submitting a verification request is very easy within the Instagram app. To do it, just follow these steps:
- Step 1: Go to your Instagram profile and tap on the “hamburger” (three stacked horizontal lines) menu icon in the top-right corner.
- Step 2: Tap on Settings in the bottom-left corner of the screen. This will open the Options menu.
- Step 3: Under Account, tap on Request Verification.
- Step 4: On the next page, enter your full name in the designated field.
- Step 5: Scan your ID or take a photo of it and upload it. You can use any ID that shows your full name and date of birth, including your driving license, passport, and your national identity card. Business users from the United States may also upload their business tax filings, a utility bill, or an article of incorporation.
- Step 6: Tap on Send.
After you have successfully submitted your verification request, Instagram will review it and inform you of their decision. The official reply usually arrives within 2-3 business days.
The Requirements You Must Meet
When considering your verification request, Instagram will assess how your account complies with the official requirements for Instagram’s verified badges. To ensure success, you must meet the following criteria:
- Authentic – Your account must represent an actual person, business, or a registered property.
- Official – Your account must be official and thus the unique representation of your business or yourself. You can’t have two or more official and verified accounts on Instagram unless they are in different languages.
- Complete – Your account must include a profile photo, a bio, and at least one post to be eligible for verification. It also needs to be public and mustn’t include links to your profiles on other social media sites.
- Prominent – The business, the person, or the entity your account represents must be popular and/or searched for, not only on Instagram but also on the internet. Instagram will also look for media write-ups on your business, but they won’t consider any paid or sponsored content.
The Final Word
Whether you are doing it for bragging rights or to protect yourself or your business from impersonators, applying for a verified badge is definitely something you should try. As long as you meet Instagram’s requirements, as well as the platform’s terms and conditions, you have a good chance of earning that coveted blue checkmark.
If you get a negative response the first time, don’t worry. Some people have applied multiple times before they finally received their verified badge. Just keep posting engaging content and growing your Instagram account and you’ll have a better chance the next time you submit a verification request.