We're all familiar with the blue badge checkmark that decorates our favorite Instagram account's handle. Not only is it pretty, it just seems so official and fancy. You might even want one of these verified badges for yourself — especially if you're a brand or your influence is growing. If you want to know how to get verified on Instagram, your first step is getting familiar with the application process. Turns out not just anybody (read: me) can have the blue badge bestowed upon them.
Let's first define the verified badge. You might see it scattered around your home page, so what makes a certain account so important? "It means Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents," according to the Instagram Help Center. It's how you can identify that an account is the true social media presence of your favorite public figure or brand. And because Instagram wants to verify the actual person and not a fake account posing as the public figure, you'll need to apply.
Don't worry, the process doesn't require a trip to a bleak office where there are long lines and no working air conditioning. To request a verified badge you have to log into the account you want to have verified. Go to your profile and tap the three lines in the top corner. Click on Settings, then Account, and then "Request Verification". All you have to do after that bit of clicking is enter your full name and provide a form of identification like a government issued ID.
And that's that. Now, you wait.
After you've submitted your request to be verified, Instagram will review it. In the meantime you can keep posting and hashtagging as per usual. Once a decision has been reached, you'll receive a notification on whether your account will be given the blue badge treatment or not. If you've been denied verification, hope is not lost. You'll be able to reapply after 30 days.
In the span of that month brush up on the requirements for acquiring the pretty blue badge. According to Instagram there are four of them. Your account, above all else, must be "authentic". This simply means that your account must represent a real person or functioning business. Sorry #finstas across the social mediaverse. Your account must also be "unique". Your profile has to be public, complete with a bio, profile pic and at least one post. If you'd prefer to keep things private, you won't qualify for verification status.
And finally, it doesn't hurt if you're a "notable" person. If your google search rates are off the charts, you might have a better chance at being verified. "Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity," Instagram's Help Center notes. "We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don't consider paid or promotional content as sources for review." If your profile is not completed with a bio, profile picture and content, chances are you won't be eligible for verification. Commonly, accounts aren't verified because they aren't set to "public" or they don't represent a real person or brand, according to marketing experts on Follows.com.
It seems like Instagram mostly wants to make sure that your account is authentic before verifying it. In order to ensure that verification, Hootsuite, a social media management platform, advises you to share your Instagram account on other social platforms. "Not only will this help more people find you on Instagram, it will clear up any confusion about which accounts are your official ones," the Hootsuite team shares.
Getting that blue badge checkmark at the end of your Instagram account is certainly a process. But it won't be the hardest or most frustrating application you'll ever encounter. All you have to do is log in to Instagram — as you do, regularly — and fill in some basic information.
If you get your verified badge, congratulations! You're officially ~official~. Enjoy that beautiful blue social media life. Do let me know how it feels to be so cool.