Ever wonder about those blue checks that appear next to certain accounts on Instagram?
They’re verification badges for notable people and brands — and they come with a lot of benefits. In this article, we’ll cover how and why to get the coveted blue check next to your account name.
Why it’s Important to Get Verified on Instagram
Instagram verification has a few important benefits:
- It makes a great first impression. Making a good first impression is a fundamental principle in branding. When someone comes across your profile, before they know anything about you, they’ll know that you’re “the real deal”: a person of note or a recognized brand.
- It increases discoverability and brand awareness. Verified accounts appear higher in searches and suggestions on Instagram.
- It inspires trust. In the era of fake news, it’s not always easy to know who to trust. The blue check tells your followers that you are who you say you are. This is especially important when promoting a special offer or deal, because users might be skeptical of special offers from unverified accounts.
- It helps you avoid identity theft. People can use fake accounts to spread misinformation or try to sabotage your reputation. The blue tick helps you avoid that situation by making it easy for people to verify whether it’s really you.
- It grants you access to special features. Instagram usually rolls out beta versions of new features to verified accounts first. The swipe-up feature on Instagram stories, which allows you to add links to your Stories, is only available to accounts with above 10,000 followers — and verified accounts, even if they have fewer than 10K followers.
Sounds great, right? So who is eligible for all these benefits?
List of 6 Criteria for Instagram Verification
These are 6 rules which Instagram requires to verify an account:
- Your account must be authentic: It has to represent a real person or business.
- Your account must be unique: You can’t verify multiple accounts for the same person or business (unless they are language-specific).
- Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo, and at least one Feed post.
- No “add me” links to other social media sites. Your link should lead to your official website or landing page.
- Your account must represent a notable person or brand: Instagram will search for you to see if you’re well-known, and they will consider accounts that are featured in multiple news sources as long as it’s not paid or promotional content.
Please note: you cannot buy Instagram verification, and any service claiming to be able to get your account verified for a fee is a scam.
Think your account qualifies? Ready to get verified? Here’s what to do.
Steps on How to Get Verified on Instagram
- Open your profile page and tap on the 3-line icon on the upper right corner of your screen. Select “Settings” at the bottom of the menu:
- Then tap “Account”:
- And then “Request Verification”:
- On the next screen, you’ll be asked to enter a number of details:
- Full Name: This is your full legal name as it appears on your government-issued ID.
- Known As: This is your business or brand name. If you’re a public figure or your business is named after you, enter your own name here.
- Category: Here you’ll be given a number of category options to choose from. Choose the one that closest describes what you do, or if none of them do, select “other.”
- Photo ID: Here, attach an image of a government-issued photo ID. The page lists a few examples of valid ID documents. Make sure you use a photo or scan where your name is clearly legible.
- Once you’ve filled in all the fields and attached your ID, tap “Send.”
Instagram verification can take anywhere from days to weeks. There’s no way to speed up the process, so you’ll just have to wait patiently! You’ll get a message in your notification feed when a decision is made about verifying your account.
If your verification request is denied, no worries — you can try again in 30 days.
How Many Times Can I apply for Instagram Verification?
There’s no limit to how many times you can apply for verification after each 30-day waiting period.
If your account is repeatedly denied, it might be because of one of the following common reasons:
5 Common Reasons for Not Getting Verified on Instagram:
- The account doesn’t represent the person or entity asking for verification. Your account has to represent you or your business or brand. “Official” fan accounts for celebrities, movies, or fictional characters don’t count.
- The account isn’t public. Private accounts can’t be verified.
- The account isn’t complete. Make sure your account has a bio and profile picture, and at least one Feed post.
- The account promotes a type of business or brand that violates Instagram’s terms. Even if the account itself is free of content that violates Instagram’s terms and guidelines, the nature of the business might do so if it’s fraudulent or shady.
If none of these apply to your account, it’s possible that your brand might not be well-known enough yet. In this case, keep working on promoting brand awareness and recognition, so that next time Instagram reviews your account, your brand will be prominent and easily searchable. This is something you should be doing anyway!
Remember that Instagram doesn’t count paid or promotional content, so if you really want your account verified, the best course is to generate some genuine media attention.
Should You Apply to Get Verified?
If you think your account meets the above criteria, and you want to increase your following and brand awareness, you should definitely apply to get verified.
Even if you’re not sure whether your account qualifies, it’s worth a try. Worst comes to worst, nothing will change; in the best-case scenario, you’ll be inducted to the exclusive blue-check club, where you’ll enjoy greater discoverability, access to special features, and the reputation of trust that comes with account verification.