Surprisingly, badges are quite important to us humans and have been since the Middle Ages. These devices are being used for identification, acknowledgment, or as a symbol of importance.
But we are not here to discuss badges or their importance. Instead, this piece is for brands, agencies, small businesses, and individuals with a craving for the blue checkmark on Instagram.
Owing to the many benefits of the verified badge, there are many speculations surrounding the verification process of Instagram. Does your follower count affect your status? What about businesses: Isn't it harder for them to get verified than individuals? What criteria or factors are being considered by Instagram before awarding the blue checkmark?
Getting Verified on Instagram: Is It That Important?
As stated earlier, there are a number of benefits you would relish with the verified badge—especially as a brand. Instagram itself is one of the most robust platforms for user engagement, brand awareness, and overall business growth. But with the blue checkmark, your account is open to more opportunities as it presents your brand as valuable, important, and reputable.
1. Brand Value
The fact remains: a verified account looks more valuable and authoritative—and more attractive—than an unverified one. This is simply logical since the verified badge is a limited symbol to separate the wheat from the chaff. In other words, since the badge is awarded exclusively to worthy Instagram accounts, your account looks special and elite with the said badge. This, thus, strengthens the brand value of your business.
Instagram users generally trust the verification status so your followers will have little to no doubt in your brand and products and/or services. You'd share information and publish content with more confidence.
2. Brand Identity Theft
It's quite common to find multiple fake Instagram accounts pretending to be a widely-known global brand, public figure, celebrity, or entity. To avoid this and to save your brand's reputation and identity from imposters and possible scammers, get the verification badge as soon as possible. This attests to your claim as the sole, original Instagram account of your brand.
3. Influencers & Marketers
When you turn to social media influencers and marketers to reach out to wider demographics of diverse audiences, the verification status of your account has a lot to say. When you look at the influencer or marketer's credibility and reliability, it's only fair they think twice about any unverified account before engaging in business. In fact, some of these influencers already have the blue checkmark, so why shouldn't a brand have?
4. Social Reputation
With a badge from a leading social platform, which Instagram is, other social platforms will find it easier and faster to verify your account. The trust is there. The prestige is present. And the brand itself has an evident social presence.
Regardless of your industry or niche, Instagram's blue checkmark helps you network with other brands and businesses to build connections, partnerships, and affiliations; form business relationships; share mutually-benefiting information; and act upon strategic moves and business opportunities. Pause, and then imagine how such networking could help you reach more customers and boost profits swiftly.
Getting Verified on Instagram: Eligibility Requirements
Instagram's verification process was intentionally concealed so the platform itself could determine who is genuinely who. This started in December 2014 and continued until late-August 2018, when Instagram announced 3 new safety tools. Among those three innovative tools, the ability to get verified by submitting a request form via the IG app caught most people's attention.
As exciting as it sounds; however, this feature is geared towards you proving to Instagram that you're ready to have the verified badge. This is quite hectic because of the strict requirements set up by Instagram to constantly limit the number of requests and regulate the authenticity of the verified badge. Based on official Instagram data, below are the requirements to get verified.
1. Terms and Guidelines
The foremost step in getting verified on Instagram is to follow the official Community Guidelines and Terms of Service religiously. Head over to these two web pages to read them and make sure you always comply with general rules of the Instagram community.
2. Likelihood of Being Impersonated
According to the Instagram Help Center, impersonation is the main problem verified badges are trying to solve. While this isn't always a determining factor, Instagram is more likely to verify accounts that have a "high likelihood of being impersonated".
In fact, if your brand's Facebook, Twitter, or any other social account has been verified but the likelihood of being impersonated on Instagram is relatively low, your request might be denied. Put this into consideration before requesting to get a verified badge.
3. Instagram's Four Elements
According to the same Help Center page, there are four requirements which Instagram put into consideration to:
- Determine if your account is positively affecting the rights, finances, or health of the public as a whole.
- Ascertain if you meet Instagram's verification criteria.
The four requirements are listed alphabetically below.
- Authenticity: The first requirement is straightforward. Instagram values accounts that represent a registered business, real person, or entity. Hence, your business account must represent a business that has been registered as a Corporation or LLC.
- Completeness: Yes, Instagram only verifies accounts it deems complete. To have a complete account, your account must be public (not private) and mustn't include an "add me" link to any other social platform (i.e. you can't link to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. in your bio.) Also, you need a (well-written) bio, a (high-quality) profile photo, and at least one post,
- Notability: This factor has a special note to it. To Instagram, the worth of a verified badge is the evidence of notability—which is a difficult attribute to measure. There is a team to review each account to check if you've been featured in a number of relevant news creation sources. Commercial or promotional contents are, however, completely neglected. The undertone of this is to be a brand, person, or entity that is being searched for and widely known.
- Uniqueness: It's safe to say no one likes plagiarism. Call it originality or uniqueness, Instagram wants your account to stand for the unique presence of a person, brand, or entity. In addition, Instagram verifies only one account per brand except as a result of multiple languages. "General interest accounts (e.g. @puppymemes)" cannot receive a verified badge according to Instagram, but there are exceptions to this rule.
Getting Verified on Instagram: Here's How
First, you should understand that the outcome you receive after requesting a verified badge depends on how convincing your account was during Instagram's verification process. Moving on, the steps below are well-detailed to guide you through submitting the request.
- Open the Instagram app and log into the account you're requesting a verified badge for.
- Go to your profile, click on the sidebar menu button (three-lines located at the top-right corner of your screen), and then open Settings.
- Scroll down to Request Verification under Account and tap on the option to load the request form.
- Enter your full name and nickname, pick a category, and attach a photo of your government-issued ID or official business documents. The ID must contain your name and date of birth. (Instagram promises to never share this information publicly.)
- Tap the Send option.
Note: After your request has been reviewed, Instagram will send a notification to specify if you've been awarded a badge or not. Sadly, there is no specified timeframe whatsoever. If your request gets approved, congratulations. However, if your request gets denied, simply wait for 30 days and try again.
Getting Verified on Instagram: Last Notes
Before the Blue Badge
As expected, Instagram won't take it lightly if you submit false documents in your request form. This is a definite way to not get verified and also to get your account disabled/deleted.
After the Blue Badge
If every Instagram account could get verified, the checkmark would lose its value. That's why Instagram expects you to treat the badge with high regard once you've been verified. After getting a badge, keep in mind that Instagram may, at any time, remove the badge or disable your account if you're caught:
- Attempting to verify your account via a third party.
- Promoting other services (apart from your brand's services) via your name section, bio, or profile photo.
- Selling or advertising your verified badge.
Despite its stern requirements and rather unclear process, getting a blue badge on Instagram should be your next goal if you haven't been awarded one. Cheers!