There are hundreds of articles written online attempting to demystify the verification process, giving step by step instructions on how to get your account verified. All of these guides reinforce three points of relevance that Instagram looks for—having a huge following, being active and representing a celebrity— all of which were untrue for us, and we still got verified.
Based on our experience I can tell you that a lot of what is written online about getting verified is mostly speculation and not grounded in truth or experience. Having been verified, we have a unique lens into the experience and can tell you what we believe Instagram—and other platforms like Twitter and Facebook— look for when choosing who to verify.
This also applies to whatever platform you are trying to get verified on, be it Twitter, Facebook or Youtube. Apparently even Tinder has verified users now, too! Whichever platform is your goal, you need to work on building your presence somewhere else. We believe that Jane’s YouTube videos—although only amassing between 1,000-15,000 views each—was what led to us being verified on Instagram.
There is reasoning behind this. If you build your brand on Instagram, collecting thousands of followers over a long period of time, this is where people will know you from. You can be easily found on that platform and it is unlikely someone with a similar name could be mistaken for you. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a high priority for Instagram to verify you. After all, Instagram even explains that verification is a process of improving the user experience:
“We want to make sure that people in the Instagram community can easily find the authentic people and brands they want to follow.”
If you don’t have thousands of followers, and your account is not the main place your brand lives, verification would be a good way Instagram can help people find you.
What are parallel platforms? Social media marketers will recognize that there are unspoken lines drawn between users on certain platforms and others that bread the same kind of users with similar demographics and content styles.
For instance, Twitter is heavily associated with news and politics, so you are more likely to see verified accounts from journalists, media commentators, and people involved in news stories.
This point is taken straight from Instagram’s own declaration of how to get verified. They stress over and over that verification is done not only to make the user experience better, but also to stop people from impersonating others:
“Accounts representing well-known figures and brands are verified because they have a high likelihood of being impersonated.”