I Want My Social Media Verification So Bad!


I had a conversation about instagram and twitter verification a while back with a friend who is a high-level tech exec. She was trying to convince her CEO that he needed to get verified.

  • That was the first time I heard about the blackmarket for social media verification. And also the first time I realized what a status symbol it had become.
  • Up until then, I thought those little blue checks were merit-based, assigned thru an algorithm.
  • Little did I know that verification is the social media equivalent of the velvet rope. Know the right people, pay the right price, and that velvet rope magically opens and you bypass the line.
  • Only 7% of the accounts I follow on Instagram are verified.

In case you’re not familiar, I’m talking about the little blue check marks next to people’s names – especially on twitter and instagram. It’s designated for public figures, celebrities, and brands and it gives users a prime spot in search.

Great article on the subject in Mashable. Worth a read.

I’ve summarized highlights below. And just FYI, my friend has still not gotten her CEO verified.

Here are some highlights from Mashable

“I mean if Mashable wants to pay for it, I can get you a blue check overnight,” reads a recent Twitter direct message.

  • The fee for verification is anywhere from a bottle of wine to $15,000
  • The blackmarket middlemen/women make enough from assigning just one or two blue checks a month to pay their bills
  • Note: this may explain why I am seeing more people list themselves as public figures in their bios – even if they only have a few hundred followers. Sending subliminal messages to the powers that be that they should be verified?
  • But the blue emblem goes beyond status, it legitimizes people and ups their credibility – especially important for the influencer and consulting communities.
  • Instagram is the most exclusive when it comes to verification. It cannot be requested online or purchased, according to Instagram’s policies.
  • However, for Facebook and Twitter anyone can apply for verification.

Verification also does not appear to be based on number of followers e.g. Casey Neistat has 2.7MM followers and is verified – as is his pal, Sam Sheffer with 17.8K followers,

These are the two guys who summited Mt. Everest and snapchatted the entire process.

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