Accounts with verified badges are treated like nothing less than royalty on social media. According to Instagram, a verified badge is “a tool to help people find the real accounts of public figures and brands, and it means (Instagram) verified this is a notable and authentic Instagram account.”
However, Instagram says the blue check mark shouldn’t be considered “a symbol to show importance, authority, or subject matter expertise.”
According to Hootsuite, a social media management firm, only accounts with a high likelihood of being impersonated are likely to get verified on Instagram.
The Instagram app logo is displayed on an iPhone.
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To get verified on Instagram, there are vague criteria one must meet before applying. Keep in mind that requesting a verification doesn’t guarantee one.
Here’s how you can request a verification, according to Instagram:
Open Instagram on your phone and log in to the account you’re requesting a verified badge for.
Go to your profile by tapping on your profile picture at the bottom right.
Tap the three-lined hamburger icon in the top right and tap on Settings.
Tap Account, scroll down and tap Request verification.
Enter your credentials and provide necessary documents such as proof of identification. Instagram cites a “government-issued photo ID or official business documents” as examples.
Follow the on-screen instructions and submit your request.
Before applying, there are things to keep in mind even if your account ticks all the boxes. Instagram says once your account is verified, the username for the account cannot be changed or transferred to another account.
Multiple verification requests do not guarantee a quicker verification process or a verification at all, according to Instagram. It might even lead to cancellation of your application.
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Instagram takes various factors into account while considering a verified-badge request. Surprisingly, none of these explicitly mention a follower count. While many might assume a high number of followers will get you verified on Instagram, the photo and video-sharing platform has other criteria.
Authentic: Represent a real person, registered business or entity.
Unique: Represent the unique presence of the person or business. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. This doesn’t include “general interest accounts” such as a memes account or a fan page.
Complete: Your account must have a completed profile such as be public, have a bio, a profile photo and be active when you apply.
Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched-for person, brand or entity. Instagram takes into consideration if the person or business is featured in multiple news sources excluding paid or sponsored media content as sources for review.
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As long as the Instagram account possesses all the qualities mentioned by Instagram, there might be a good chance for verification. But the criteria does say the account must represent a person or a business who’s “notable” and “well-known,” so whether a “normal” person qualifies depends on the person and the account they’re trying to get verified.
It’s important to note that if you receive a verified badge using false or misleading information during the verification process, Instagram will remove your verified badge and may take additional action to disable your account.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to get verified on Instagram. How many followers do you need?