Ah, the coveted blue check mark, distinguishing the most elite and influential Instagram users from the plebeians. The process for getting one has largely been a mystery to the general public – but for the most part, you needed to know someone.
Until now. This week, Instagram has decided to open their application form for verified status to the public. The process is fairly straightforward – head into your Instagram app, navigate to Settings, and click on Request Verification.
Unlike the previously-public Twitter verification form, Instagram doesn’t give you any room to explain yourself or plead why you oh so desperately need those few blue pixels on your screen. The form only contains three fields: your username (which is autofilled), full name, and a spot to upload a photo of your passport or other official documents.
According to the company, accounts are evaluated for authenticity, uniqueness, completeness and notability. Instagram’s help docs go into more depth:
Authentic: Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
Unique: Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. We don’t verify general interest accounts (example: @puppymemes).
Complete: Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo and at least one post. Your profile can’t contain “add me” links to other social media services.
Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don’t consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.
In regards to the relationship between Facebook verification and Instagram verification, the company notes that not all verified Facebook pages are automatically qualified for an Instagram badge. “Currently, only Instagram accounts that have a high likelihood of being impersonated have verified badges,” they say.
Instagram also announced a host of other tools and updates, including an “About this Account” section within the app that lets a user know when they joined, previous usernames, bios, and some tweaks in regards to ad transparency. Additionally, users can now use third-party two-factor authentication apps like Google Authenticator or Authy to secure their accounts.
Users that apply for verification will receive a notification once their app has been reviewed, though Instagram doesn’t provide an estimated or guaranteed timeframe, nor does it specify whether the notification will be sent in-app or through email. Users that are denied can reapply after 30 days.