How to Get Verified on Twitter in 2021 (for real)

How to Get Verified on Twitter in 2024 for Real (Post-Elon Musk Takeover)

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?

Who Can be Verified on Twitter

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 smiling
Source: JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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:

how to get verified on twitter today by purchasing Twitter Blue

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

Source

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.

get on the waitlist for Twitter Verified Organization

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

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.

Entertainment Celebrities

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.

Athletes

Sports and e-sports

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!

Hero photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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16 Comments

  1. I run an ngo in the field of blood donation, the news of our organization is uploaded on the local news website but it is not on the big news website of the country but our organization is doing very good work in the field of blood donation, will the ngo’s account be verified and mine as a founder

  2. Dear Sir,
    I am freelance screenwriter, for twitter verification they ask- “Provide a link that references you as an individual in entertainment and your Twitter account. The reference must come from the official website of a Verified entity”

    Sir I have IMDb, but I don’t have my personal official website, what kind of link I fill thare? LinkedIn, Facebook profile link? Or my movie wikipedia link?
    I can’t understand, please help me, if possible.
    Thank you so much

    • Hi Javed, the link doesn’t come from your website but from an industry website that recognizes you and links to your Twitter account.

  3. Hi Neal firstly great article! Can I ask your opinion. I am an ex musical artist..or still but less active hahaha. I am on Wikipedia, discog and subject of a few articles. My hey day was in the 90s.

    Re Google trends. I have not been googled enough I the last 6 months. I now run a registered charity suppprted by the City of Sydney and the only contemporary references to me are charity based.

    In your opinion would I the cut if I applied as an artist entertainer ? Am I wasting my time, because I cannot fulfil the trends requirements

    • Hey Danny! Nice hearing from you mate! There is no written-in-stone requirement and I wouldn’t worry about Google Trends. Go ahead and apply and let me know how it goes!

  4. Hi Neal, I’m curious whether the follower count for each geographical region is available so we can figure out what falls into the top .05% of active accounts located in the same region? And is that threshold a deal-breaker for notable individuals regardless of whether they are regularly quoted in top-tier media outlets on business issues?

    • I have no idea how to calculate that top .05% for each region, but there are TONS of bots and inactive accounts out there, so that number might not be as high as you might imagine.

      As for that threshold being a deal-breaker, only Twitter can answer that. I tell everyone to at least try applying, because even if you are denied, you should be able to re-apply again after 30 days as per this tweet:

      https://twitter.com/verified/status/1399829539304394752?lang=en

      Hope the info helps!

  5. Hello, about that bit where you are supposed to provide links that reference you and have been in existence for the past 6 months, well will Twitter consider them if these links are say one or two months old? (Since they basically fall into the past 6 months bracket)

    • Only Twitter knows the answer to the question. However, if you read their instructions, they probably want to weed out people who “just became” famous and instead are looking for known entities that have been around awhile…

  6. Hi there I just wanted to find out about the part during verification when Twitter says ” add an official website that references you” does this mean you put your official website ?

    • No, it means that there is another website that includes your name. For instance, if you say you are an author, there should be a website that sells your books and has your name. The whole idea about having a verified account is that you are somewhat famous, and therefore surely there is a website outside of your own that mentions you. Does it make sense now?

  7. These types of Apps and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter where any body can open account without verification and allow can write anything what they want – spread rumours – these platforms should be banned in any civilised society and country

    • Hey Pratap, thank you for your impactful comment! I do not judge on the morality of social media and verification, but only want to help businesses and professionals best navigate them for their benefit!

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