It used to be that getting verified on Twitter was important for your credibility for your profile there. Verification meant that Twitter, and the general public, knew that you were who you say you were, rather than (potentially) an imposter.
However, the verification program hasn’t always been open. Twitter started verifying in 2009 but then stopped in 2017 to shift their priorities elsewhere. They began to offer the blue checkmark again in 2021, and then everything changed with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
Despite Twitter’s new pay-to-play policy on being verified, restrictions still exist and the legacy checkmarks still remain – for now. Add on to this different colored checkmarks that Twitter will be releasing, and the situation can be quite confusing.
This post aims to clear up that confusion to let you understand the previous, current, and future verification systems that Twitter have announced they will begin.
Let’s dig in.
Who is Now Eligible for Twitter Verification?
Now that the legacy verification process mentioned above stopped accepting applications after November 9, 2022, the only way to become officially verified on Twitter with the blue checkmark displayed on your profile is to be an active subscriber to Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, AND meet Twitter’s eligibility criteria.
Let’s break this down.
The Original Twitter Blue
Twitter Blue is an experimental subscription service that Twitter launched back in 2021. The idea was to start to generate additional revenue directly from its users by offering a few value-added services for a few dollars a month. At its initial launch, the features included:
- An undo send feature to retract your tweets before they went live
- A Bookmark Folder feature to literally bookmark and group your saved tweets
- A “Reader Mode” that helped display threads and tweets in an easier to read page
- Aesthetic options such as new color themes
Twitter Blue Post-Elon Musk
Elon Musk saw opportunity to further expand upon the Twitter Blue service, and when it re-launched on December 12, 2022, it became the first social network to accept money from anyone who wanted the blue checkmark.
But Twitter Blue is more than just that: Twitter calls it a premium subscription service that “elevates quality conversations on Twitter.” With that in mind, in addition to being able to obtain the blue checkmark as well as the previous legacy features mentioned above, Twitter Blue offers these new features, all for a current price of $8 to $11 per month in the United States, depending on the device that you own:
- Post up to 4,000 characters via tweet
- Upload videos up to 60 minutes long
- Edit a tweet within 30 minutes of publishing it
- Prioritized rankings in conversations, putting your replies on tweets at the top
- Custom navigation bar
- New Spaces Tab making it easier to access audio content
- Top Articles, a convenient shortcut to finding the most shared articles in your network
- NFT profile picture identifying you as the NFT owner (after crypto wallet connection)
- Two-factor authentication via SMS
These are the features that have already been added, so suffice to say you should check back on the official Twitter Blue page for the latest updated list if you were considering subscribing.
Twitter’s New Eligibility Criteria for the Blue Checkmark (Verification)
Whereas Twitter’s previous verification policy was focused on entities that were authentic, notable, and active, the Twitter Blue eligibility greatly simplifies things and does not take the legacy policy into consideration.
Specifically, the Twitter Blue requirements for verification are simply:
- You have a name and profile photo on your account
- You have been active on Twitter over the last 30 days
- You have had a Twitter account for at least 90 days
- You have a confirmed phone number in your Twitter app settings
- You have not made recent changes to your photo, name, or handle to potentially deceive people
- You don’t show any signs of being decepive or potentially misleading people
- You don’t show any signs of engaging in spam or platform manipulation activities
It should be noted that you do not receive the blue checkmark immediately after subscribing to Twitter Blue as Twitter will first verify all of the above. There is no estimated time given as to when you will become verified, so you will have to check back often to see if the checkmark has appeared or not, but I have not heard any complaints of it taking too long.
Twitter is also making it clear that the blue checkmark can be removed at anytime if you run in violation of Twitter policies, and you will have to go through a re-verification process should you decide to make changes to your profile image, name, or username.
Take These Steps to Get Access to the Twitter Blue Check
With the above in mind, the only way to get newly verified on Twitter is to simply purchase a Twitter Blue subscription and await official approval of your verification based on the guidelines above.
From the desktop version of Twitter, it is easy to purchase a Twitter Blue subscription simply by selecting the Twitter Blue option from your sidebar menu, which will launch the following popup:
And that’s it!
That being said, legacy blue checkmarks, like my own, still exist, and with the re-launch of Twitter Blue, Twitter also announced the creation of two new verified checkmarks: Gold and Gray.
Twitter’s Gold and Gray Checkmarks for Verified Organizations
With legacy Twitter verification, there were 6 types of accounts that were considered notable, one of them being the category of companies, brands and non-profit organizations while another was governments. None of these are considered the types of private individuals that would sign up for Twitter Blue.
Corporate entities have an interest in preserving their image. For brands that are subsidiaries, both the brand voice itself and the corporation above them need to be protected. Likewise, non-profits need to ensure that unauthorized people don’t speak for them. For that reason, Twitter’s verifying corporate accounts is an important way to protect everyone’s interest.
Government actors can be national, regional, or local. This means that your mayor can get verified, and not just the governor or head of state. In addition, government accounts might be representatives of a particular agency, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or Department of Defense (DOD).
With Twitter Blue, Twitter is trying to bring back an application process for these organizations to receive a verified checkmark in either gold (for business) or gray (for governments), as opposed to the Twitter Blue blue checkmark. This process seems similar to the legacy verification process that used to exist. Basically these two notable categories will be covered by these new colored checkmarks but they will need to re-apply to receive them.
These gold and gray checkmarks have apparently yet to roll out, but you can get on the waitlist and fill out what you see in the Verified Organizations screen below by clicking here.
Who Will Lose Twitter Verification?
I mentioned before that there were 6 notable types of accounts, but there are only 2 new colored checkmarks for 2 types. What about the other 4 notable types of accounts?
While it is unclear as to if or when legacy Twitter blue checkmark holders like myself will lose our blue checkmarks, clearly the previously “notable” types of accounts listed below will lose out in the new system and either have to pay for Twitter Blue or potentially lose their checkmark. Note that these descriptions are from my previously published advice on how to get verified on Twitter targeted for each notable category:
News organizations and journalists
Reporting the news can be like the Wild West sometimes. All kinds of people want to offer their perspective on world events, and there’s a real temptation to pretend that you’re someone else. Even worse, some people might impersonate journalists to discredit them. Public relations and reputation management are a real problem on social media, so verification is a powerful tool. If these people don’t know how to get verified on Twitter, they need to learn fast.
These are your big-name personalities and minor celebrities. For instance, actor Harrison Ford would fit in this category, as would Paris Hilton. However, I also see this including C-list names, too. If they’re well enough known in entertainment to attract imposters, they likely can qualify under this category.
It’s worth mentioning that Twitter is including the electronic sports here. Specifically, esports is an organized competition involving video games. Sometimes it’s played with a team, and other times competitions are individual. So, esports is a subculture, and I find it interesting that Twitter is including them in verification eligibility. The need for verification in traditional sports is, of course, obvious.
Activists, organizers, public figures, and other influential individuals
I’ll describe this category as “movers and shakers on the grassroots level.” Your activists and organizers are often quite controversial, so they attract a lot of trolls. I’ll be interested to see if “influential influencers” includes your macro and mega-influencers. If so, this can be very helpful to us marketers.
Getting Verified on Twitter: A Trend of Things to Come for All Social Media Platforms?
The days of having to apply, wait for an email, and pray to get verified on Twitter have come to a close as now anyone can get the blue checkmark for the monthly price of a McDonald’s meal. The question now becomes: Is it worth it? In other words, the verification badge is now merely a blue badge, and while there is a feeling of legacy credibility attached to it, over time it will simply be seen as a user who paid for the privilege to receive it.
Accelerating this potential devaluation of the verification system is Meta’s new announcement to create a similar paid verified accounts program for Facebook and Instagram users. While slightly higher priced at $12 a month, Meta will offer some sort of verification badge in addition to priority customer support, increased visibility in recommendations and search, and more protection against impersonation.
At the end of the day, is it worth an approximate annual fee of $100 to get access to these additional features? If you’re using Twitter (or Meta) for business and are already advertising on these platforms, an additional organic boost might lead you to more visibility, engagement, traffic, and even business that could surpass the $100 expense. That is what Elon and Zuckerberg are counting on.
On the other hand, similar to my advice for the casual LinkedIn user not to subscribe to a LinkedIn Premium service, if you are a casual Twitter user, I don’t think the verification service offered by a Twitter Blue subscription is worth it.
Case in point: At a recent conference I spoke at in London, around 250 business people in the room were asked if they would pay for Twitter verification.
Not one person raised their hands.
Will YOU subscribe to Twitter Blue to get the blue checkmark? I would love to hear your thoughts and plans in the comments below!
And, before you go, here’s some links to some of my other articles on Twitter to help you better leverage the social network for your marketing and business!
- Twitter Hashtag Search: The Definitive Guide
- The Best Times to Post on Twitter in 2023: The Surprising Answer
- Twitter Advertising: 18 Tips to Set You Up For Success
- The Best SEO Game Plan Strategies Include Twitter SEO
- The 13 Best Twitter Font Generators to Check Out
Hero photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash