With Twitter recently updating its verification guidelines, and Instagram making it easier for the general public to apply for profile verification in the app, Facebook has today provided a new overview of its approach to verification, and who, exactly, qualifies for the blue checkmark in its apps.

Instagram verification process

Facebook explains precisely what the verification check signifies in the first place, saying:

Verification is fundamentally a method for individuals to ensure that the noteworthy accounts they are following or looking for are, in fact, who they claim to be. It provides a method for individuals to identify which accounts are genuine and noteworthy. We do not regard verification badges to be an endorsement, nor do we consider them to be a sign of importance.”

Tweeters have expressed dissatisfaction with the business, which has spent the past year working to clarify what its verification marking really signifies, after some mistook the checkmark for an indication of the company’s approval.

Facebook explains that its verification tick is not really a verification tick, but rather a marker of noteworthy accounts that meet certain requirements. This summary aims to provide a more in-depth explanation of.

To put it simply, in order to be eligible for verification on Facebook and/or Instagram, you must do the following:

  • Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity
  • Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Notable entities (for example pets or publications) are also eligible
  • Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts
  • Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo and at least one post
  • Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched-for person, brand or entity.

It is this final element that many people struggle with — although you may be an influential member of your community or have established a strong social media presence, the qualifiers here (‘well-known’ and ‘highly searched for’) eliminate some of the uncertainty as to who qualifies or does not.

A large audience is not enough; you must also maintain a certain degree of social media presence or status, which Facebook’s evaluation team may check on to evaluate your eligibility for the tick.

Facebook, on the other hand, has incorporated some extra considerations:

“We double-check reports that have appeared in numerous news publications. Paid or promotional material does not qualify as news sources in our eyes. We recently broadened our selection of news sources on Instagram and Facebook to include more diverse sources, such as those from more Black, LGBTQ+, and Latinx media outlets, as well as more outlets from across the globe, for example.”

To this end, Facebook has expanded the number of publications that may be evaluated in this process, allowing key representatives from a broader range of groups to be verified more easily. However, media mentions and identification as a significant person of note by media sources continue to be the most important qualifications.

So, if you are eligible for verification, what exactly does it provide you with?

What it does not offer, however, is more reach or priority:

In the words of Google, “being verified does not imply that your material is given preference by our algorithms in terms of where it appears.”

Of course, since most verified individuals are well-known, their material is more likely to be shown prominently in most applications based on interaction signals than that of other users. However, Facebook explicitly says in this section that it does not give these accounts any additional ranking weight depending on their verification status.

As a result, if you were expecting to ‘beat the algorithm’ by getting the coveted blue checkmark, you will be disappointed to learn that it will have no effect.

Verified accounts, according to Facebook, are unable to alter their account’s name or transfer their verification to another person or organization, and the social media platform is actively looking for individuals who are selling verified accounts to others.

”We undertake frequent sweeps both on and off the platform in order to identify and remove harmful actors from Instagram,” says the company.

All of this being said, there are clearly advantages to earning the blue tick if you qualify, and Facebook has said that it is trying to make the checkmark more apparent throughout the network, making it simpler to recognize posts and comments from well-known Pages and accounts.

Facebook verification examples

Being able to offer that additional degree of confidence is clearly advantageous; however, Facebook is trying to provide a more clear and consolidated picture of who qualifies for the mark and why they qualify, as well as how individuals who fulfill those criteria may get a blue tick.

However, there are some pretty stringent criteria in this case, and there should be, because if there weren’t, the marker itself would lose its significance, and it would no longer have the same significance that it has right now.

As a result, fraudsters are always attempting to get access to accounts marked with a blue tick, and every app is constantly inundated with new applications. There should be difficult criteria to meet in order to guarantee that the value of the marking stays high and that only the most deserving members of the community inside each app are recognized.

That may imply that you personally do not qualify (as well as me), but the fact that the marker is meaningful is due to the fact that Facebook has put in place such restrictions to begin with.

You can read more about Facebook’s updated verification approach here and here.