Photo via Howard Lake/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
Are you jealous of the checkmark adorned to verified profiles on Twitter? Now you'll have a chance to change from green with envy to blue with verification thanks to Twitter's decision to launch an open, online application process for users to receive verified status.
For those unfamiliar with elusive blue checkmark, Twitter verifies accounts of individuals and organizations to vouch for their authenticity. The process provides a badge to accounts of public interest—often celebrities or people of note from the realms of entertainment, politics, religion, media, sports, and business among other areas.
Any user will now be able to submit a request using a dedicated form in Twitter's Help Center to request verification. To be considered for verification, users will have to provide a verified phone number and email address, a brief bio, profile photo, header photo, birthday, and website. Tweets for the account will also be required to be set to public in the account privacy settings.
Those who submit their account for verified status may still be subject to additional questioning from Twitter. The company may ask for reasoning as to why an account should be verified, and in some cases may request a scanned copy of a government-issued identification such as a passport or driver's license.
It's worth noting that simply applying doesn't mean a user will be verified; Twitter is still primarily looking for creators and influencers on the platform who may need verification to indicate their presence on the platform. Users rejected by Twitter can file another request 30 days after being denied verification.
The open request process is set to open as early as Tuesday for some and will be available globally by the end of the week.
The previous process for verification resulted in 187,000 verified accounts on that platform—a fraction of the 310 million monthly active users. Twitter noted some of its earliest verified accounts included @CDCgov, @Oprah, @MilwaukeePolice, @SF311, and @TonyHawk
While verified accounts have a similar fundamental experience on the platform as other users, they also receive additional perks like a verified-only notification feed. Earlier this year, Twitter announced a new app called Engage—available to everyone but designed for noteworthy "creators" and "influencers" on the platform—that allows users to tailor their timeline and mentions and analyze their activity.
The focus on improving the user experience for celebrity figures contrasts sharply to the company's less-than-stellar efforts to address harassment and abuse that is often directed toward users who don't have the benefit of verification.
In the past year, Twitter has made strides toward improving user safety by announcing a safety council to advise on new policies to curb harassment. The company also implemented new reporting tools to help indicate a number of potentially harmful tweets at once.