Facebook explains the mythical blue-tick
The coveted social media blue-tick has had social media users in a tailspin since its inception. The ultimate standard of making it, of quality, of legitimacy.
However, for many years now, account verification has been somewhat shrouded in mystery and pseudo-science, but thankfully for no longer on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook has provided an update on what verification means and who qualifies for the blue checkmark.
"At its core, verification is a way for people to know that the notable accounts they are following or searching for are exactly who they say they are. It's a way for people to know which accounts are authentic and notable."
It's important to note that Facebook doesn't view the verification badge as an endorsement and does not consider the badge a symbol of importance.
Despite what the marketing industry at large believes.
What's verification about?
Being verified shows a sense of authority across Facebook and Instagram and allows people interacting with your account to know they're talking with the real deal. Any brand seeking to use social media as a way to grow should look into verification.
Account-holders that wish to apply for verification can do so via the Insta or Facebook app. At a bare minimum, accounts must follow the Terms of Service and comply with Community Guidelines before they can be verified.
The verification application process has been clarified and tweaked to allow previously under-represented groups to have a voice, and that's undoubtedly a good thing and broadens out the number of authoritative voices you'll see across both platforms.
To quality for verification on Facebook and/or Instagram, you need to hit several stringent criteria:
- 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.
If you're a marketer looking to get your company verified, these shouldn't represent any significant hurdles. The one that may take some navigating is the last point, as if you're new to the industry or aren't a highly searched-for brand, you may see your application denied.
Also, what's the exact volume threshold?
Facebook and Insta run side-by-side
It's also one area Facebook has tried to be flexible to make sure it doesn't discriminate against popular accounts that aren't well represented in the mainstream media.
"We verify accounts that are featured in multiple news sources. We don't consider paid or promotional content as news sources.
Across Instagram and Facebook, we recently expanded our list of news sources to include more diverse outlets including those from additional Black, LGBTQ+, Latinx media, and including more outlets from around the world for example.
With the updates we've made, people can also now share information about their audience, the region they're most popular in, and add up to five news articles to help our teams have more context when reviewing the applications."
Being verified shows your account is notable in its field and that it's the legitimate voice of your brand. If your customers or potential customers have issues picking out your handle when they search for you, then you should seriously consider applying for verification as that little blue tick will help solve that issue.
"Simply put, verification signals authenticity and notability. We try to ensure impartiality in the verification application process by relying on sources such as credible press coverage and examining the person's cultural impact."
Facebook is at pains to point out that being verified does not mean you will perform better in search and discovery, but as verified accounts tend to have large, engaged followings, this is often the case.
The verification police patrol these areas
Facebook won't let Verified accounts change their account name or transfer their verification.
"Verified accounts can't change the account's name or transfer that verification onto a different account. The purpose of the blue badge is for people to know that the account has been vetted and we have confirmed that they are who they say they are."
Facebook will police verification in other ways, too:
- If your verification is acquired maliciously or if you're selling verified accounts, action will be taken.
- Regular sweeps will be taken and malicious accounts removed.
The criteria required to be a verified account is high, but the clear communication from Facebook is encouraging as is the way they intend to police it.
While not every business or brand will meet the eligibility criteria for verification, at least things are a little clearer on the topic.