Instagram verification means different things to different people.
To some, it’s a sign of celebrity. It’s a status symbol that many people and brands strive for, but few attain. It’s a sign that they’ve “made it” and are now “officially famous.”
Instagram, however, has a different perspective.
What does Instagram verification mean?
According to Instagram, the verification badge simply means that you are who you say you are. Nothing more, and nothing less. According to the official Instagram blog:
“Verification badges aren’t an endorsement from us, nor do we consider them a symbol of importance.”
Being verified also does not mean that Instagram is treating your content any differently. There are no algorithm benefits to having an Instagram verification badge.
So all of the verified accounts you see getting prominent placement are achieving this based on the strength of their content.
Who can get verified on Instagram?
As you can imagine, Instagram maintains a strict process for determining who should get the coveted blue badge. Their official blog lists six requirements that all accounts should follow:
- Authentic. Your account must represent an actual person, registered business, or entity.
- Unique. Your account should be the unique presence of the person, business, or entity it represents. Notable entities like pets and publications are also eligible.
- Limited. Only one account per person or business can be verified. Exceptions can be made for language-specific accounts.
- Active. Your account should be public and have a bio, a profile photo, and at least one post.
- Noteworthy. Your account must represent a well-known, highly-searched for person,brand, or entity.
Accounts that are featured in multiple news sources are good candidates for being verified, although Instagram does not consider paid or promotional content as news sources. You can submit up to five news articles to help the Instagram team have more context when considering your application.
Instagram also prioritizes accounts that are more likely to be confused with other accounts, or those that are at risk of impostors. That’s the entire purpose of a verification badge, after all; to show that you’re the REAL you.
How to apply to get verified on Instagram
Applying for verification is a simple, 6-step process.
Step 1: Go to your profile and tap the hamburger icon in the top right corner.
Step 2: Tap Settings.
Step 3: Tap Account.
Step 4: Tap Request Verification.
Step 5: Fill in the Verification Application Form by providing the following information:
- Legal name
- Persona name or “known as” (if applicable)
- Category or industry
- Photo of official government ID (e.g. driver’s license) or business document (e.g. utility bill)
Step 6: Tap Send.
Your request will then be processed. It can take up to a few days or a week for a response. Note that you will ONLY receive a response via the Instagram Notifications tab.
Instagram will never email you, call you, or ask for money in exchange for verification. There are quite a few scammers floating around, so be careful.
Tips to get verified on Instagram
Anyone can apply to get verified, but few people are going to actually get accepted. So we’ve assembled some useful tips to help maximize your chances:
Grow your audience
The best way to be verified as an influencer is to actually become an influencer. Focus on growing your audience organically and engaging with people as much as you can. Create awesome content that gets views and sets you apart from others in your niche. Use popular hashtags to broaden your reach and introduce yourself to new audiences.
This sets you up for long-term success, whether or not you get the badge. Besides, if you don’t get the badge the first time, you can always try again once your audience is a little larger.
Instagram allows you to submit up to 5 news articles as part of the verification process, so you should maximize that opportunity. Google yourself to see if there is any organic and prominent news coverage from reputable sources.
“Reputable” in this case usually means major news publications like CNN or The New York Times, although niche or industry trade publications can also qualify in certain cases. Paid or promotional content doesn’t count.
Delete cross-platform links from your bio
Instagram, for better or worse, frowns on links to other social media platforms in your bio, so you should remove those ASAP. Links to things like your website or your portfolio are okay, as well as other online properties, but links to things like Facebook and TikTok are a big no-no.
Don’t do anything shady
When you apply for verification, you are basically inviting Instagram administrators to come in and audit your account. So there should be ZERO instances of you doing anything against their terms of service like buying followers, posting inappropriate content, or behaving in a way that violates community guidelines.
Single-line comments that don’t contribute anything to the conversation (e.g. “nice pic!”) are not against ToS, but they’re not Instagram influencer material. Your comments should be thoughtful and add value to other users on the platform.
How to stay verified on Instagram
What Instagram giveth, Instagram can taketh away.
As you can tell, it takes a lot to get verified on Instagram, so don’t squander it. Instagram will penalize you for bad behavior and violating their Terms of Service. This includes actions such as:
- Selling or attempting to sell your verification badge
- Using your profile or bio to sell or promote other services
- Attempting to purchase your verification through a third party.
Here are some reliable ways of ensuring you stay on Instagram’s good side:
- Keep your account public
Note that once you have the verification badge, you’ll be able to keep it even if your account activity slows down. The only way to truly lose the badge is through malicious behavior. So don’t do it!
So there you have it! We can’t guarantee that you’ll be verified after reading this post – that depends upon your own account activity and your relationship with your fans. But with these tips, we hope that you’ll have a clearer path to getting verified.
Just remember that the blue seal isn’t the goal of your social media campaign; it’s a sign that you’re making the right moves.