If you, your organization or your clients are rock stars on Twitter, you can now get recognized as such.
On Tuesday, the platform announced that it was opening up its verification process to all accounts. Once a great mystery, Twitter has given the coveted blue checkmarks to roughly 187,000 accounts—only 0.06 percent of its 310 million monthly users—that it deemed “to be of public interest.”
In a press release, Twitter said:
The @CDCgov was one of the first Twitter accounts to be verified in order to help citizens find authentic and accurate public health information straight from the source. Among the other first accounts to be verified include @NASAArmstrong, @KimKardashian, @Oprah, @MilwaukeePolice, @SF311, and @TonyHawk.
· A verified phone number
· A confirmed email address
· A bio
· A profile photo
· A header photo
· A birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organization accounts)
· A website
· Tweets set as public in tweet privacy settings
Getting verified ultimately shows Twitter users that the accounts of influential organizations and public figures are who they claim to be, but for brand managers, the mark might also serve as a badge of honor. It might also attract more followers if Twitter remains selective about the accounts it verifies.
Getting verified also enables you to filter your notifications, which can cut down on harassment (though brand managers shouldn’t use the feature to ignore consumers’ tweets).
The disparity [between verified accounts and number of users], alongside increased pressure to provide anti-harassment tools, means more and more users may only be interacting with those who share their verification status. For instance, Twitter lets verified users filter their notifications to only show replies, mentions, or likes by other verified users. (The new Engage app offers some of those features to regular users as well.)
“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,” Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of User Services, said in the company’s 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.”
Twitter users shouldn’t worry that everyone will be deemed an “influencer,” though.
Currently, less than 1 percent of users are verified. Twitter has been manually verifying new accounts for the past few years, and while that number might skyrocket now that the process is simple, the company says the mark is still reserved for accounts “determined to be of public interest.” So don’t worry, it’s unlikely your cousin’s account with three tweets in five years will get that coveted check mark.