80% of Instagram accounts follow, at a minimum, one business or brand and this has exponential potential for the companies. In fact, 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles on a daily basis to learn more about a brand and learn about new products and services. This is a significant base for advertising and one that shouldn’t be underestimated, even for already established businesses and brands.
The platform doesn’t seem to be slowing down and users are only increasing in numbers. If you are a public figure or entity who wants to reach more followers, Instagram Verification is the feature that should be at the forefront of your mind.
That little blue tick next to an Instagram account’s name is the envy of many. It serves as confirmation that the account has been verified as the genuine presence of a public figure, celebrity or a global brand. It is only given to accounts once a set of strict requirements have been fulfilled, as will be expanded upon below.
Verified badges help people find the legitimate account of public figures, celebrities and brands that they wish to follow. As there are many impersonators on Instagram who seek to pretend to be someone who is well-known, the blue tick is essential in establishing who is real and who is not.
Getting verified on Instagram allows your followers to know that they are seeing the content of a real person – this is especially important not only for businesses and celebrities, but also social media influencers who rely on their followers’ trust. They need to know that what they are experiencing is real and unique. For celebrities, this has special significance as the platform grew to such a degree that it’s difficult to distinguish between millions of accounts – especially the thousands of fan accounts who use their names in their account handles.
Businesses who become verified have exponential potential to reach more people by showcasing their products and where to get them. A verification badge has become a symbol of status – it shows that the account is known, and well-liked, by many. Getting verified is arguably the most significant breakthrough for social media influencers and brands who wish to use the platform but isn’t an easy achievement.
Once you have a verification badge, you are safeguarded against impersonation, and your profile has a better chance of standing out from the masses of profiles available on the platform. This is specifically true when it comes to fan pages. The process is not easy to hack as it requires official documentation to prove your identity which in the era of cybersecurity is a major concern. It is no small matter to make sure that others cannot pretend to be you and cause havoc online. It is a strict process, and this stands in its favour. Verification results in the pages being put in the top search results and this improves brand awareness.
According to Adriaan Brits, the CEO of Sitetrail Media, an agency who saw close to 400 successful cases of IG verification: “We have seen people getting verified quickly from a simple $2500 PR package, whilst others needed more extensive PR costing them in the region of $5000. Much depends on current profile strength at the time we assess a new case. One thing is certain: There is not shortcut or alternative to having strong online PR and sufficient appearances in Google News”.
Getting verified might not be a simple process if you are stingy on marketing or unknown to the media, but it’s worth the effort once closing the gap. If you are serious about getting your brand, whether it be as part of a business of yourself, seen and heard then that little blue tick is the best way forward. It will establish you as a serious competitor and can only benefit your business.
However, you have to be aware that Instagram has strict community standards that need to be abided by. These terms and conditions of use are of the utmost importance and cannot be ignored.
Social Media is a global engagement and Instagram aims to provide a platform for everyone to be heard, seen, and expressed, not only respectfully, but authentically; being real is the goal for all.
It is a seemingly stringent process to obtain the level of verification required to mark an account as an established entity or an expert in a field, and to receive a verification badge. However, going through the process to have your account “verified” is worth it as it ensures authenticity, legitimacy, and professionalism, as well as establishing trust between the verified entity and their community.
The verification process on Instagram starts with the easy process of requesting a verification badge (Open Settings – Account – Request Verification), however, this also comes with a set of requirements and criteria to meet beforehand.
Eligibility will be determined by a specific status set, namely, celebrity, public figure, and brand status. Statistics indicate that 92% of top brands have profiles on Instagram and the top 50 brands have an estimate of 1.5 million followers. Furthermore, according to recent statistics, 3.26% out 6.5 million accounts with over 1000 followers are verified.
Additionally, eligibility for verification will also be evaluated upon the following characteristics held by the person, company or brand making the request.
According to the stipulations on Instagram the above questions fall under four provided categories to ensure verification, namely: Authentic, Unique, Complete and Notable.
Another question about getting verified on Instagram relates to how many followers a person, company, or brand has; a certain amount of followers shows that the entity (person, company, or brand) is already well-established in its community and trusted enough as someone or something to follow, but is this a deciding factor for verification?
Verification does not require a certain amount of followers, it only requires that the entity applying is already well-known and established in their field, and essentially requires being safeguarded against any other accounts that attempt to copy them or their page.
The process of requesting verification, as mentioned above, is quick and easy, but how long will it take once it is approved, and what will the process be?
Instagram will first review verification requests before anything is approved, or not approved; once there is an approval or denial of verification, a notification will be sent to the recipient.
If an Instagram account is verified, the verification badge can still be removed if incorrect information is used. It is called “De-verification”
This is exactly why you should NOT buy a verified Instagram account from someone else, regardless of whether they are a scammer or an honest person, they cannot control the policies of Instagram!
If an account is verified on Instagram, it might not be verified on other social media accounts that it’s linked to. As mentioned previously, the verification badge safeguards the person, company, or brand that is more susceptible to being impersonated or copied.
So you are verified on Tik-Tok, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter but not Instagram?
One way of addressing any discrepancies with the above is to link the Instagram account with the corresponding social media account where the entity is verified, in this way it will indicate there is verification on another platform already and show credibility.
Not all Instagram accounts will have verification badges, however that does not imply that they are not well-established or trustworthy entities in the business or entertainment industries. There are other alternatives to enhance verification on Instagram.
Personal Instagram accounts can be changed to business accounts, which can offer another way to demonstrate authenticity and verification if the verification badge is not approved. Compared to personal accounts, business accounts provide access to a variety of settings designed to enhance doing business online (whether it’s a company service, brand or public figure).
The following are various features offered on an Instagram business account:
Business categories can be enabled on an account profile, which will provide further information about the type of services or products offered, it can also indicate the type of industry the business is in.
Instagram Insights allow businesses or public figures to track how many people engage with their posts or stories, and it can be viewed in the following three categories:
The Content category indicates the total number of posts, stories, and promotions that were shared during a week.
The Activity category is separated into two parts, namely, Discovery and Interactions:
The Audience category shows how many followers an account has; once there are more than 100 followers to an account more insights will be available in terms of who the followers are.
With a business account more information about the business can be provided to the audience, or potential clients; businesses can add their email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses.
Having contact information available on an Instagram account will enhance and verify a business even more, even when there is no verification badge.
For a business to gain more exposure for their services or brand presence online they can ask their clients to tag them on their Instagram posts or conversely they can tag their business partners in relevant posts as this will increase the chances of having more profile views or contacts.
This feature can be enabled to choose who can mention the business account in comments, stories, or captions.
Businesses or public figures can utilise the ‘Stories’ feature on their Instagram profiles to showcase their work or services, or add more of a personal, behind-the-scenes look at their lives to be more authentic and build relationships with their audience.
In the biography section of an Instagram profile businesses or public figures can write a description of their services and work to let their audience know what they do; more information and clarity will also create more authenticity.
Seeking a verification badge can become a chase for ‘fame’ in some cases causing people to turn to buying badges. However, verification badges do not come with a price tag, and this is highlighted on the Instagram website. You may lose money when buying an Instagram account that becomes de-verified. It is a gambit for many.
You may apply for verification by following these three simple steps:
There is no set time to know if you have been verified or not, and it should also be kept in mind that eligibility does not ensure verification. In cases where your request is denied, you will have to wait thirty days before being able to apply again.
To be eligible for verification, Instagram requires you and your account to have the following traits.
Authenticity: Under this heading, you must ensure that your account represents an actual person, legitimately listed company, or entity. Suspicious activity such as impersonating accounts or plagiarising content from other accounts is ill-advised and will not be tolerated.
Uniqueness: The rules for verification eligibility requires the applicant’s account to be unique and distinctive. If you or your business happen to have multiple accounts, only one of them will be chosen to be verified. Businesses or individuals with accounts in multiple languages can be held as exceptions. Instagram, however, normally does not verify common interest accounts such as accounts about shoes.
A completely set up profile: Also an important requirement as Instagram does not verify accounts that do not have display pictures, have empty bio sections, or have no posts made on the account at all (there has to be one, at the very least). Any accounts with incomplete information cannot be considered eligible for obtaining a verification badge.
A public account: An important requirement to consider when applying for a verification badge is that Instagram does not verify private accounts, because the whole point of the verification is that the account has to be open to the public. Hence, it is imperative for your account to be public to be eligible for receiving a verification badge.
Notability: Media visibility is the most important aspect. To be eligible for verification, the account made after a business entity or a famous person must be popular. It must be an account that is popular among searches, mentioned in numerous news sources, and ultimately, widely known among the general public. Actively engaging with your followers also increases notability. Sponsored posts and paid content are not considered.
Honesty: Any kind of deceitful information or ambiguity will not only result in failed chances of receiving verification but if the account is verified, the badge will most likely be removed. Instagram might even take further steps and delete your account permanently. Accounts containing links to other social media platforms, prompting others to add them will also not be verified.
Instagram requires its users to follow some terms and conditions in exchange for their service and to be part of their community, to ensure the safety and security of all, as their ethos is to be as open and inclusive as possible whilst still remaining in accordance with the law.
To ensure further safety and to take full legal advantages of Instagram’s services, it encourages its community to abide by the rules mentioned below to avoid unfavourable and avoidable consequences. In the spirit of the above open and inclusive space, Instagram believes that it is within everyone’s power to ensure that the platform remains as it believes it should. As such, there are eight aspects to consider when deciding what is appropriate to do on Instagram:
Once you have your verified badge you will need to continue to abide by Instagram’s guidelines in order to keep it. Instagram reserves the right to remove your badge if you are caught participating in, or posting about, anything that they feel goes against the values of their platform. Some guidelines that need to be kept in mind will be discussed below.
If you receive a verification badge it is only allowed to be used by you and appear on the account you used to apply for it. You cannot transfer or sell it to other accounts on Instagram or even use it on other accounts even if they are owned by you.
Your badge can also be removed if your profile picture, Instagram handle or biography is being used to promote other services or companies in competition with Instagram. Another reason your badge can be removed is if you are caught trying to have your account verified using a third party service. Your verification badge cannot be bought and must be applied for using the official Instagram platform. Any company or service promoting the selling of badges is fraudulent and could result in Instagram removing your badge and even deleting your account.
Selling or even just posting any sexual content involving underage individuals is also prohibited on the platform. Any person encouraging or urging people to embrace dangerous behavior such as self-harm, eating disorders, or avoiding seeking help will also risk having their account deleted. The use of the platform to sell sexual services, illegal drugs, tobacco, or prescription medication will also not be condoned.
Instagram is an extremely popular platform and is used by people from all cultures and backgrounds. Content that is displayed on the platform needs to be sensitive to the diverse range of opinions and viewpoints that could encounter the post. If you want your account to be verified you must ensure that your content is culturally appropriate.
Often people post photos that show instances of nudity for artistic expression or creativity, but images of this type will be taken down for a variety of reasons. Images or videos of partially nude children will also be removed, even if the images were posted by the parents. Instagram is unable to monitor if and how third parties will use the pictures for ill-intent so for the protection of all users it is safer to lean on the side of caution when deciding if the content is fit to be posted. If you want your verification application to be accepted you need to make sure no posts of this type can be found on your feed.
As a user, you are only allowed to share photographs that you have personally taken, or have the rights to. If you are posting content that you do not own, you must reference the original owner or ask for permission to post it.
Also keep in mind that if you are posting content about newsworthy events, the same guidelines still apply to the images. If what is posted involves violent or upsetting content or glorifies violent acts the posts will be removed.
To use the Instagram platform in an acceptable way you must ensure that you are making meaningful connections and participating in genuine interactions when using the platform. People who buy thousands of followers, or use bots to create comments and likes will be removed. Repeatedly commenting on other accounts or spamming people in their personal inbox is also not acceptable. Offering money or giveaways in return for likes or follows or other types of engagement is strongly discouraged.
Although creating fun or interesting names are allowed on Instagram, individuals may not create accounts that impersonate or act as the account of a different individual. You do not have to use your real name, but you are required to provide accurate data to the platform. If it is discovered that you have provided false or misleading information during the verification process, Instagram will remove your verified badge and may take additional action to delete your account. Users may also not post any content that supports fake or misleading user reviews or ratings.
Any posts that incite hate speech or credible threats will be removed from the platform. Any serious threats to damage or harm public or personal property will also be removed. The same goes for any post that targets specific individuals with the purpose to degrade or shame them. Instagram also does not support terrorism, hate groups, or organized crime.
Any content that encourages violence or attacks anyone based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disabilities, or diseases, will be removed. However, when hate speech is being shared to challenge discrimination or to raise awareness, exceptions can be made. In the aforementioned situation, the individual posting must ensure their intention is made explicitly clear.
If any of the above guidelines are overstepped Instagram can remove your verification badge and also has the ability to completely delete your account. Once your account has been removed you will need to wait 30 days before you can reapply. Instagram reserves the right to award you the badge for a second time. The outcome will be dependent on the severity of the misdemeanor that resulted in you losing your verification badge in the first place.