So coveted and yet so inaccessible: yes, it's all about the blue badge that Instagram gives out to users. But it's not easy to get it. Of course, you don't have to go through seven circles of hell to get it, but you still have to work hard. This article tells how to increase your chances of being verified and explains how to apply for official account status.
First of all, verification protects users and the social network by eliminating fake profiles of famous personalities. Scammers often create fake accounts for all kinds of fraudulent activities: running fake giveaways, selling non-existent goods, organizing the collection of donations, etc. To lull users' trust, they do it on behalf of a public person or company.
This is what happened with the famous COS store. Scammers gathered an audience and promised the first 50,000 followers a branded item as a gift. Such situations can damage a company's reputation. Verification protects against these troubles.
The blue checkmark is of interest to users not only as a way to protect their good name. Everyone knows that this badge is not given away for nothing, which means that its owner is famous for something. It attracts the attention of the audience, adds prestige to the brand, and just allows standing out among competitors — which is why so many companies and bloggers are so eager to get it. It shows that Instagram trusts you, which means that users can count on the fact that you will not advertise shady schemes.
The social platform rarely shares the secrets of its internal work, so no one can say with absolute certainty who will be given a checkmark and who will be deprived of the privilege. Still, the developers talked about four criteria that influence their decision.
Authenticity. The page must belong to a specific person or organization. To verify this, Instagram will ask for documents proving your identity or the existence of your company.
Uniqueness. Only one account can be checkmarked. Exceptions are profiles created for different countries or for sub-brands. For example, H&M owns the brands Zara, Oysho, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and Pull and Bear and can create verified profiles for each of them. Burger King has multiple accounts with a blue badge because the company operates in different markets.
Accounts with memes, kittens, and other unoriginal content will not pass the test.
Integrity. The page must look alive and real. For this, you must have a profile photo, fill out a bio and add at least one post. Don't forget to make the profile public. Take into account that it should not contain links to other social networks.
Notability. Instagram records how often your username pops up in the search results. If people often search for your profile, it means that you are really interesting to the audience and deserve a reward in the form of a blue checkmark.
And of course, you should not forget about following the rules of the community. If your account posts questionable content, like nudity or promotion of illegal substances, you're unlikely to get the badge you want.
Go to your profile menu and select Settings - Account - Request verification.
After that, the application form will open. The first step is to confirm your identity. Ideally, your nickname should be the same as your full name. If possible, change it beforehand.
Enter your full name and upload one of your documents: driver's license, passport, tax filing, recent utility bill, or articles of incorporation.
The second step is to confirm your notability. First, you have to choose the category your profile belongs to. After that, you need to specify the country and describe the audience (explain why people follow your account). Next, you can add a link to any mentions of you in the public space: media articles, news related to you, YouTube interviews, Wikipedia page, etc.
Although some items are marked as optional, we recommend that you fill in as much detail as possible to increase your chances of being verified.
Once that’s done, tap Submit and wait for an answer, which you will receive within 30 days. It will appear in the Actions tab.
There is no magic pill that will make you a public person in one go — only hard work day after day will help. But there are still a few things, the knowledge and application of which can make a difference in the verification process.
Putting aside the notion that an official brand checkmark protects users from scammers, there's another reasonable explanation for why social networks have introduced this feature. When a famous person registers on Instagram, it is obvious that many people will want to follow them. This affects the number of platform users, as well as the time they spend there. The social network gives such an account a blue checkmark as a confirmation of its authenticity and this attracts other people.
So let your profile grow so that it's popular and that Instagram sees that it benefits from giving you that badge. As you promote yourself on the platform and develop your personal brand, your publicity and media mentions will grow, and this will only benefit you.
If you are able and willing, get involved in projects: present yourself as an expert on local television or do some charity work. This will give you a chance to be in the news, which means that you will have something to say about your notability in certain circles. Just keep in mind that these publications should not be advertising - Instagram values honesty.
If the account has been found to have systematic violations of community guidelines or there are constant complaints about it, it's likely you won't pass verification. At the very least, don't try to apply if your profile has just been unsuspended. Prove yourself as a law-abiding user and only then try to get the checkmark you want.
If your profile gets copied or faked on a regular basis, make sure to report it. There is an opinion that it helps to show up in the social platform’s database. The more requests you receive, the more likely you are to be verified. For the social network, this will be another confirmation that you are popular because only the best are copied.
As we mentioned earlier, Instagram tracks how often your username gets searched on the platform. While you can't track this metric, there is a way to indirectly influence it. Promote your page on other platforms, including your username, and encourage people to follow you.
Let's say you run a successful TikTok profile. Point out how you can be found on Instagram, but don't give a direct link — let people search for you manually.
To get followers interested, build content in such a way that it is not duplicated on both social platforms and is a logical extension of what you post on your other profiles. This increases the likelihood that this option will work.
You can also post on themed platforms and include your username at the end of each article or video. Prepare a free incentive you’ll offer to new followers.
Of course, these methods do not guarantee 100% verification, but if there is an opportunity to increase your chances, then why not take advantage of it?
In an attempt to get the blue checkmark, some people go to all lengths and try to achieve what they want by any means.
The most popular option is the use of gray schemes, namely the purchase of verification. There are many people on the platform that will promise you to solve this problem for a hefty amount. Some people say that they have connections among Instagram staff and others say that they have hacked the social network and will be able to conjure up your badge. But in fact, you'll be left with nothing: the money will go, the person will vanish, and your profile can be hacked.
There are recommendations online on how you can add the checkmark to your username using a code. This method works until the first update of the application, is not visible to other users, and if the platform notices it, your profile will likely be blocked.
There is an opinion that if you gain an audience of millions, the platform will automatically give you a checkmark. This is not true: there is no automatic verification and Instagram does not care about the number of followers. If you're followed by only a couple thousand people but you're famous and you can confirm it, you have a better chance of getting a checkmark than an unknown blogger with an audience of a couple of million.
In an effort to build up an audience, some people resort to scamming, which is not allowed on the platform. If this is uncovered after you apply for verification, the effect can be the opposite — you’ll lose access to your profile.
The very desperate guys try to cheat the system: they make fake documents in Photoshop and pretend to be public people. We do not think that you would do such a thing, but just in case we say: cheating is bad. They won't believe you, and they'll punish you.
Once all the information is collected, you can start filling out the application for verification. Do not send multiple applications — rumor has it that if you spam, the administration will not consider your applications and immediately reject them. So just wait patiently for the answer. If it’s negative, do not worry. Now you know that you still have to work on brand recognition and personal brand growth. 30 days after receiving the results, you'll be able to resubmit your request, but don't assume that it was a mistake and you'll get the checkmark without changing anything.
Do you have a verified Facebook profile? You're a lucky one! The process will go much easier for you. Link your accounts together and the blue checkmark will automatically appear on your Instagram profile. If it doesn't, contact customer support — they'll help with the solution.