Summarize your field of expertise in 500 characters or less, and you could earn the highest level of authority on Twitter: a nifty, light blue checkmark.
On July 19th, Twitter launched a simple verification application so users can nominate themselves for verification and, thus, that blue check status. Since the launch in July, the revamped process has more than tripled the number of daily verified accounts.
“We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification,” said Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of User Services in a press release. “We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience.”
The application is available for all users on a landing page on their support site. Beyond basic requests for phone number, confirmed email address, and other requirements, the most significant prompt asks “why [they] should verify an account.” Specifically, what is a user’s “impact in their field” or what an organization’s “mission” is.
URLs are expected to be provided to support their request, recommending to choose “sites that help express the account holder’s newsworthiness or relevancy in their field.”
“The impact of what I write was directly related to news of public interest amongst other things,” said Juan Cálcena Ramírez (@juancalcena), one recently verified user and a staff reporter at ABC Digital, the online version of DiarioABC Color based in Paraguay.
As a journalist, Cálcena Ramírez felt that getting verified would bring credibility to his work, since he often tweets out his stories.
Carla Jean Lauter (@beerbabe), a freelance beer blogger, wanted to verify her account for two main reasons: protecting her blog’s name and making her expertise more official.
“My blog’s name – The Beer Babe – is somewhat unprotected, and someone could easily come along with the words ‘beer’ and ‘babe’ in their Twitter handle and represent themselves as me,” said Lauter. “As someone who is producing content for revenue, I wanted the Twitter community to know that I have been using that name for some time and that I am the original blog/author using that name.”
She was also concerned about maintaining her credibility. “I’ve worked hard to become a trusted voice in the beer community, as well as gather a significant following,” she added, “I wanted to take the next step to become more ‘official’ in how I represent myself on Twitter.”
Interestingly, Lauter didn’t notice her verification approval until we reached out to her via Twitter for an interview. She relies on third party sites like TweetDeck and HootSuite and rarely logs into Twitter’s site itself except to recently apply for the verification a few weeks ago, but she was surprised she didn’t receive an approval email from Twitter.
— Carla Jean Lauter (@beerbabe) August 21, 2016
To track the growing rate at which accounts are being verified, user Verified Accounts (@verified) follows every verified account automatically. This account was created back in summer of 2012 and has only tweeted 4 times since it’s creation, all relating to how to keep your verified account secure.
Verified Accounts went from following 188,741 users on July 19th, the launch date of the application, to following 201,520 to August 19th. That’s almost a 7 percent growth in followers in 30 days.
The numbers speak for themselves:
|Month||Average number of accounts verified by Twitter per day||Total number of accounts verified by Twitter|
The average number of accounts verified per day increased by 313% percent since the month prior to the application’s launch.
Bhatnagar’s goal of finding “great, high-quality accounts” through this application is actually being fulfilled.
Looking to apply for a Twitter verification yourself? “Like anything you’re applying for, keep a professional tone and don’t be afraid to give them more information than they require,” said Lauter, “Round up links to back your identity up (i.e., bios, LinkedIn, etc.) beforehand so you don’t have to go chasing them down mid-application. They will ask you for these and it’s easier just to have them on hand.”
If your Twitter account is denied, you’ll have to wait another 30 days until you can reapply.
“Just go for it and fill the Twitter form,” says Cálcena Ramírez, “Be honest in what you do and in what you expect after being verified. Give details and express yourself as much as you can.”
And if at first you don’t succeed, statistics are on your side. Try, try again.