After thousands of users recently got locked out of their accounts due to a hack, Instagram has taken some '(not so) quick actions’ to make the platform more secure for its one billion users. In these efforts, among the several features that Instagram has announced is one that will allow users to verify their account by filling in a form. In other words, you could soon get that coveted blue tick! Or can you? Cue evil laughter.
Yes, it is good news that Instagram is allowing for an in-app form for account verification, but this doesn’t really make your chances of getting the blue tick any better. Remember how Twitter got us all excited a while ago with a similar move, it put the forms public and let anyone send an application for the blue tick. But did you actually get the blue tick? Exactly! Now you see the problem.
Instagram itself has spelled this out very clearly, “submitting a request for verification does not guarantee that your account will be verified.”
What do I have to do to be eligible for the verification badge?
As per Instagram’s hub on verified badges, the platform says that it evaluates your account for “authenticity, uniqueness, completeness, and notability” — the criteria that must be met in addition to abiding by the platform’s terms of service.
Now, how do you meet these criteria? Well, let’s take one of these factors at a time. Instagram defines an authentic account as one that “represent[s] a real person, registered business or entity.” So be ready with government-issued ID for this. You can also show your tax bills, or bank details for the same. Though why anyone would want to give those to data-hungry Facebook is beyond us.
Then there is ‘uniqueness’, by which Instagram means that it wants to approve only one account per business. Basically, if Tech2 has three different Instagram accounts, unless all three cater to different language-speaking audiences or something like that, the platform would want to verify only the primary of the three accounts.
Completeness is basically how up to date your profile is. Essentially your accounts needs to look interested and interesting both. For this, make sure your account is public, has a profile picture, an updated bio and at least one post. Do note, Instagram stipulates that your account “can’t contain ‘add me’ links to other social media services,” so prune anything like that.
Finally, notability! Now, you may think your account is lit, but to get verified, Instagram needs to agree with you. One of the top priorities for Instagram before actually handing you over the verified badge is that you must be a “well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity”. This one factor alone will eliminate the bulk of applications.
Alright I get the pros and cons, and I believe I'm famous, so how do I apply?
Now that I have fully warned you about unnecessarily getting your hopes up, let me walk you through the new process of getting an Instagram verification badge.
In order to access the verification request form, head to your profile, tap the menu icon on the top right, select “Settings” at the bottom and then choose “Request Verification.” To initiate the process, you will need to provide your account username, your full name and a copy of your legal or business identification. Instagram has "promised" that this information will not be shared publicly. I wouldn't take that promise at face value, but it's not like we have any other option.
Once your request has been reviewed, you will receive a notification confirming or declining your request in the notifications tab. Do note, Instagram will never request payment for verification or reach out to ask you to confirm your verification.