I recently went through the process of being verified by Twitter. As a result, I received my coveted blue check just about a week prior to penning this piece.
Fortunately, over the years I have been busy laying the groundwork to be accepted. If I had applied 5 years ago, before Twitter paused the verification program, I’m not sure I would have been approved.
To be honest, it was easier than I thought it would be, but I do wish I’d been more prepared with the necessary materials required to apply. If, however, I hadn’t spent the last 5+ years building my personal brand online, I may have run into a bit more trouble.
Here’s what my profile looks like now. See that pretty blue check? Pretty neat, huh? But was it all worth it, and how difficult was the process? We’ll walk through all of that in this article to help you decide whether you are positioned to gain approval, and whether it would be worth your time and effort.
What will you find in this article?
Throughout this article, I’ve laid out step-by-step guidelines you’ll need to follow to get verified on Twitter. You’ll find details for each category of verification (meaning the type of account you represent) ranging from government, organization, and journalist, to activist, sports star, or entertainer.
I’ve also dropped in a number of select anecdotes from my own experience to help you be more prepared and to give you a better shot at getting approved. You’ll find out how to better-position your account for approval as well as how to maintain your Verified status once you achieve it.
What is Twitter Verification?
Twitter verification is a way of helping Twitter highlight accounts of public interest that are authentic and genuine. Accounts verified by Twitter receive a blue check beside their name or company name in the profile section. This confirms that the account in question has been thoroughly reviewed and met the criteria for approval as a verified account.
In 2017, Twitter paused the verification process so the social media channel could take some time to revise the process and update criteria for verification. In mid-2021, Twitter relaunched the program, opening up the opportunity for platform users to again apply for verification.
See the blue check on my profile? That’s what you get when you’re verified. Is it worth it? Keep reading, and decide for yourself. It’s likely not for everyone, but for many, a blue check does mean some serious gains.
What are the benefits of Twitter Verification?
I talk a lot on this blog about building a quality personal brand online to boost your career, grow your business, and gain influence. Earning your Twitter Verification serves as a badge to add to your trophy case. It goes along with the rest of the credentials you’ve worked so hard to incorporate into your personal brand.
The Twitter Verified checkmark lends a lot of credibility to your brand. It can have the following positive impacts to help you grow authority and boost your potential:
- Verification of your expertise from a trusted, well-recognized brand
- Proves your account is legit, thus adding a layer of trust
- Helps prevent identity theft, as it makes it easier to identify fake accounts
- Adds credibility when building relationships with influencers
- Boost in followers, whether they are seeking to gain insight from you on how to get verified or simply looking to you for industry advice based on your status
- Improve authority as a thought leader in your niche
All of the above benefits can give a serious boost to your professional image and help you build influence and authority in your niche.
This can help open lots of doors for you. And while it’s not an easy process, the rigorous review from Twitter is a good thing. If everyone was able to gain access, the value to you once you earn your badge would be greatly diminished.
How do you get verified by Twitter?
To be verified by Twitter, your account must fall under one of the following high-level categories:
- Government – To qualify under this category, you need to be employed actively serving as an elected official, head of state, official spokesperson, or working in another key government office, or you would need to apply on behalf of a government office’s official account.
- Companies, brands, and non-profit organizations – To qualify for this category, the account you are attempting to verify needs to represent a company, brand, or non-profit organization. The user handle could also represent the entity’s leadership or high-level executives.
- News organizations and journalists – This category represents both news organizations and prominent individual journalists.
- Entertainment – This involves a number of aspects of the entertainment business, including film studios, TV networks, shows, events and festivals, and more. This category also includes artists, digital creators, actors, musicians, and others.
- Sports and esports – Professional athletes or high-level individuals within athletic organizations like General Managers, Coaches, and others fall into this category. Sports teams, associations, and organizations also count. On the esports side, esports associations are included as well as popular, well-known esports figures.
- Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals – If you are an activist who has significant influence to affect positive change in the world, you may qualify for this category.
To help guide you through the process, this article will detail the step-by-step application process for each of the above categories. I personally utilized the “News Organization and Journalist” category. As a writer and contributor to multiple high-profile publications, I was able to submit proof of my published works as confirmation of my official status within this category.
For each category, you’ll find Twitter requests some similar info, as well as more specific, relevant info for your niche. For this reason, I felt it was important to run through each option individually.
We’ll walk through each step, and I’ll drop a few lines here and there that contain info that’s important for you to understand as you navigate the verification process.
Things to consider before applying
Twitter’s previous system for verifying accounts was regularly criticized prior to the pause and reboot. Twitter users were often rejected without being offered a clear explanation as to why the rejection occurred.
At the time of the 2021 relaunch of the Twitter Verified program, only 360,000 of the platform’s 199 million active users are verified. That’s less than 2% of users, so if you follow the steps and end up receiving your verification, you’ll be joining a very exclusive club.
To be considered for verified status, your account needs to have been active within the last 6 months. Additionally, if your account has received either a 12-hour or 7-day suspension within the last 12 months, you’ll have to wait until you’ve been clean of either of those charges for a full year.
There are certain types of accounts that are NOT eligible for verification. Those include:
- Parodies, newsfeeds, commentary, or unofficial fan accounts
- Pets and fictional characters, with the exception of those sanctioned by brands or companies to serve as mascots, etc.
- Accounts that engage in violations or that focus on buying and selling followers and building fake audiences
- Groups or individuals that are associated hateful or harmful activity
If you fall into one of the categories above, don’t waste your time seeking verification. Twitter will not approve your request.
With that in mind, are you ready to test your luck at joining the exclusive blue check club? Good! Let’s get started!
Where do you find the verification option on your Twitter account?
First, you’ll need to find the submission section. It’s not super intuitive, and I ran into a bit of difficulty finding it myself, so I’ve laid out the steps below to make it easier for you.
Step #1 – Settings and privacy
The first thing you will do is click “Settings and privacy”. Then click on “Your account” and enter your password.
Step #2 – Request verification
Once you’ve signed in with your password, you’ll then go ahead and click to request verification.
Step # 3 – Start your request
Simply click the “Start request” button and your verification journey is underway.
Step #4 – Select your category
This is where things start to split and get a bit different. At this point, you’ll select your category. Refer to notes in the bulleted list above to determine which category is the best fit for you. Then select that category and click “Next.”
Now that you’ve made it this far, your path will diverge from others on their own personal Twitter Verification journey. From here, we’ll take a look at the steps involved in requesting verification for each category along with what supporting information you’ll need to include.
Verification process under each category
Each category will require different info, so you’ll want to be sure to find the section related to your area of expertise and take notes or bookmark this article. This will ensure you’re prepared for the process and not scrambling for info or content when the time comes.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at the verification process for each category. I’ve included screenshots so you can be sure you’re on the right path and taking the right steps. Let’s start with Government and work our way through the list.
To become verified under the Government category, you’ll need to start the process by choosing from one of the following options to confirm your status as an official government public figure.
These are your two options:
Official website – This is an official government website on which you appear. For example, you may have a bio as a Pennsylvania Senator in the United States. As shown in the example below, you would then drop the URL to the site on which your bio appears.
News Coverage – The other option is to provide links to recent news coverage mentioning you. If you take this direction, you’ll be asked to enter URLs to recent news coverage that reports on you or includes your name as a reference. These need to be from reputable news sources. So, I’m sorry to say that your high school newsletter won’t count.
Make sure the articles you add mention either you or your Twitter account for them to be accepted.
Whether you choose to proceed with a link to an official government website or by adding links to news coverage mentioning your name, the next step will be the same. You’ll be asked to submit documentation that shows your account is authentic. You’ll have the following three options.
- Government Issued ID
- Official Email Address
- Official Website
The easier option is to simply submit your driver’s license as your official government ID. If you don’t have a driver’s license or some similar form of official ID, then you likely aren’t actually employed by the government, thus, I highly recommend using this option for you legit government folks out there looking to get verified. It’s the simplest path, since your ID is likely just sitting somewhere across the room or hanging out in your pocket.
After choosing Government Issued ID, you’ll then enter your country of origin along with the type of ID.
As you can see in the screenshot below, there are a number of different types of ID forms you can enter here. Again, driver’s license is the simplest, but feel free to enter whichever works best for you.
Then enter an image of the front, along with an image of the back of your ID card as requested. Make sure the image is clear and you can see all the numbers, dates, and other details. Otherwise, Twitter will not be able to process the upload.
Once you upload your ID and select “Next”, you’ll then officially submit your request, and the waiting game begins.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the approval process can take up to 7 days. From my experience, it took right around that 7 day mark for me to receive my approval. So, be patient. There’s no need to get antsy and bug the people at Twitter about your status.
Companies, brands, and non-profits
As a company, brand, or non-profit, you’ll kick off the process much the same way that you would if you were a government official. Start by selecting the appropriate category as shown below.
The first thing you will need to do is provide a link to a standard online presence that showcases companies and organizations. According to Twitter, this could include any of the following:
- Public indices like Google Trends and public stock exchanges
- Stable Wikipedia articles that meet the encyclopedia’s notability standards
- Databases such as GlobalGiving
You’ll also be required to add URLs to 3 credible news sources that mention your business. Be sure to scroll down to access the boxes to add sources #2-3 as they will not initially appear on the screen.
Next, you’ll be asked to submit either an official email address from the organization you’re attempting to verify, or an official website of an advocacy group that references you and your Twitter account.
The final step to submit your company- or organization-related verification request is to review your information. If you are satisfied with. the info presented, go ahead and submit your request.
News organizations and journalists
This is the route I took to verification. Having been published or cited on multiple high-profile publications, this one made the most sense for me. If you’re in the marketing field like me, you may have published a number of articles on different websites or been quoted by other authors. If this is the case, you can use the links from those sources to prove your credibility with this option.
Let’s take a look at the process for news organizations and journalists to get verified.
Once you’ve selected the proper category, you’ll be asked to choose whether you are a journalist or a news organization.
Choosing the journalist option
If you choose the journalist route like I did, you’ll be asked to select from two submission options:
- A link to an official news organization website that references you, or
- Links to 3 articles with bylines or credits referencing you within the last 6 months (Note: these should not be links to articles on your own blog unless your own blog is a major, well-recognized publication)
The articles you link to should reference you in the article or should be written by you with a byline something like what you see in the screenshot that follows.
After you submit your link(s), you’ll be ask to upload your government ID or other form of identification. You’ll then submit your request for verification, and off you go!
Choosing the news organization option
If you take the news organization route, rather than submitting a website or links to articles with your author byline, you’ll be asked to drop a link to either of the following:
- A profile on Google Trends with recent search activity about you, or
- A Wikipedia article about you that meets the site’s standards for notability regarding people
Once you do that, you’ll just need to submit an official email address from your organization or the official website of an organization that references you or your Twitter account.
At that point, you’ll be all set, and your requests will be off into the Twittersphere for review.
Are you an entertainer, entertainment company, or part of a prominent group of entertainers? If so, then this option is for you.
Within this niche, you have four options to choose from.
- Entertainment company – Film studios, television production companies, etc.
- Content creator – Prominent creator well-known for creating engaging, original content on any number of platforms
- Individual entertainer – Actor, dancer, director, comedian, or other
- Production organization – Accounts associated with events, festivals, tv shows, and other production-related organizations
As a next step for either entertainment company or production organization, you’ll simply enter the URL of your company’s website.
For content creator, however, the process is a bit different. You need to have been consistently publishing content for 6 months and meet Twitter’s notability requires, which includes a follower number threshold.
Since we tend to focus a lot on the personal brand on this blog, I’ll target the individual entertainer verification for the full example here.
If you select this option, you’ll need to submit either of the following:
- URL for your official IMDB page, or
- 3 links to news coverage mentioning you within the last six months
You’ll then complete your request by submitting your government issued ID or a link to your official website.
Sports and esports
Yep, in person, physical activity sports are now officially clumped into the same category with sit in a lazy chair, tap on a controller, virtual video game sports.
If you fall into either of these categories, you’ll have the following two options.
- Insert the URL of a website representing a professional sports team or esports association that features you, or
- Add 3 links from reputable news sources by which you have been featured in the last six months
Follow that with your government issued ID, and you’ll be all set. Starting to sense a recurring theme here? Submit your verification request, and then it’s just a waiting game.
Activist, organizer, or influencer
This is the final of the six options, and of course, it kicks off in the same manner as the others. Select the proper category, and then click “Next.”
From there, you’ll need to follow a number of the basic steps to show proof that you are who you say you are.
One of the top criteria, however, is your follower count. You need a seriously high number of followers to qualify for this categorization. For instance, someone like Greta Thunberg with 5 million followers is a great example of a Twitter account considered worthy of verification.
So, if you want to approach verification from this angle, you’ll need to first focus on building a seriously huge audience. Once you do, come back around to Twitter and walk through the process for verification step-by-step and submit your profile for review.
Whatever approach you take to getting verified, be prepared to provide proof that you are who you are as well as proof of your influence through links to articles and websites, proper documentation, and other materials requested by Twitter.
Tips to strengthen your position to become Twitter Verified
Twitter claims to be doing its best to provide more clarity into their verification decisions, whether accepted or rejected. Here are a few ways you can improve your position and potential to get accepted, whether on your first try or on your second time around.
Whether you are taking your first shot at verification or you’re going in for a second attempt after initial rejection, there are things you should be doing to better-position yourself to be approved.
Before you apply for verification, you should:
- Make sure your Twitter profile is complete with name, photo, bio, website, security, and other relevant info
- Have a quality photo and cover image
- Focus on building a large audience
- Write guest posts for high-authority websites
- Build relationships with journalists to earn quotes and citations in their work
- Post often and engage regularly with other Twitter users
- Mention other verified accounts you’re connected with in your bio (an employer or colleague, for example)
Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz and Co-Founder of SparkToro, drops his wife Geraldine’s (also verified) Twitter handle in his bio.
The good news is, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…in 30 days. Twitter allows users to submit a request for verification every 30 days, so assess where things went wrong and spend 30 days fixing the issues that led to not being approved. Then, when everything is in place, jump back in and give it another shot.
How do you maintain Twitter Verified status?
Just as Twitter will bestow the honor of the coveted blue check on those who meet the strict criteria, they will also take it away from those who violate certain terms. Once you’ve received your verified status, you should take care to abide by the rules, or you risk losing it.
Twitter specifies 6 ways you can lose your verified status. They are as follows:
- Hateful Content – Any statements, images, display names, or other types of content that promote violence or in any way directly attack another user on the basis of any of the following: race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.
- Abusive Behavior – Attempting to harass or intimidate someone on Twitter, just as it is in the real world, is against the rules. Be kind and try to help, not hurt, one another.
- Glorification of Violence – This relates to glorification of violence that is directed at individuals or groups because of their association with a particular group or related to particular characteristics of a person. As society has shown, glorification of violent acts, like mass shootings for example, can encourage others to imitate the behavior. This is in the interest of eliminating any offline harm that could occur resulting from posts glorifying violence.
- Civic Integrity – Use of your Twitter account to promote interference in or manipulation of elections or any civic process can result in the revocation of your verified status.
- Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy – Users must not use the platform to suppress information presented to or by other users. The goal is to eliminate manipulation of content that can cause deception or disrupt the experience for other users on Twitter.
Earning Twitter Verified status isn’t rocket science if you follow this step-by-step process and have the right credentials in place, but the channel is very selective in their review process. As such, once you earn your check, make sure to follow the guidelines laid out by Twitter to ensure you stay on the right side of the verification process.
Being verified on Twitter isn’t necessary to succeed on the channel. It can, however, help you out in a number of ways, especially by adding credibility to your personal brand.
The blue check does have a way of opening doors, so it’s certainly worth considering applying.
If you decide to apply, however, be sure to have the necessary information ready to go. This could include links to published articles, prominent websites where your bio appears, a company or organizational email address, copies of your driver’s license or other documents, and other necessary info you can find under the detailed processes noted above for each category.
If you have any questions about how Twitter Verified can boost your personal brand or give a lift to your career, let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Hopefully this tutorial simplifies the process for you. Best of luck in your journey toward Twitter verification!
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