If you’re not familiar with the Instagram blue tick, it’s a verified badge that shows up next to a user’s account name on the platform. According to Instagram, it means it’s confirmed that an account is the “authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity, or brand it represents”.
“The verified badge is a tool to help people find the real accounts of public figures and brands, and it means that we have verified that this is a notable and authentic Instagram account,” says Instagram on its site. “We look at a number of factors while evaluating Instagram accounts to determine if they meet our verification criteria.”
Ever since they were launched in 2018, I’ve wanted one. There was a time when only those with blue ticks could share links in their Instagram Stories. I wanted the tick to share my articles in my Stories, and let people easily click through to them. Then, everyone was able to share links in their Stories.
I still desperately wanted that blue tick though. It seemed so official. So elite. So unattainable for little ol’ me. Every time I applied for it through the app, I never managed to get through.
Then, recently, I saw an industry colleague, a fellow journo, had the blue tick. I checked her profile. She had just over 1k followers. I had over 4k. I decided to apply again. I submitted the verification request one morning and, at around 6pm that day, I got a notification that I got it. I’d been verified.
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I shared the development to my Instagram Stories, captioning it jokingly: “I’m famous!!!”. I was quickly flooded with direct messages on how I managed to get it — clearly, everyone was wondering how such a clearly non-famous person had tricked the system.
So, as Instagram doesn’t officially share too much on how it decides who does and doesn’t get it, I thought I’d share what I did to get it here, as well as any other questions you might have if you too are wanting that elusive blue tick.
How Do I Get a Blue Tick on Instagram?
As mentioned, I’d tried to apply for it a few times over the years and was denied every other time. Note that you’ll get a notification if you’ve denied the badge, and will have to wait 30 days until you can apply again. If you haven’t gotten that notification, I’d assume it’s still assessing your account. I’d also say, keep your profile public the whole time Instagram’s assessing your account. It needs to be on public to get the blue tick.
To apply for the badge, go into the app. Go to Settings, Account and Request verification. I picked which category I fell into (News/Media), entered my details and uploaded an official form of verification. I also had to share three published links in my application. I shared three links to stories I’d written online. Another work colleague, a fellow journo, who got the blue tick said he shared his LinkedIn profile and two article links.
Then I hit send and waited. I got a notification in Activity that evening that I’d been verified. Note that if you’re waiting for verification and aren’t hearing anything, it’s best you keep waiting. “Note that applying for a verified badge multiple times before receiving a decision will cancel your application,” reads Instagram’s Help section on verification.
In the section, it also says that when evaluating Instagram accounts for verification, it looks at a number of factors. The account must be authentic, unique, complete and notable. “Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched-for person or entity,” it says. “We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don’t consider paid or sponsored media content as sources for review.”
It’s worth noting that I worked as a freelancer for a couple of years so have my byline featured in various publications online which might have contributed to my credibility.
What’s the Lowest Amount of Followers to Get a Verified Instagram Account?
While Instagram hasn’t released any official info on this, the lowest I’ve seen, personally, is 1,083 and 1,097 followers, on two profiles that both got verified this month.
Can You Pay to Get Verified on Instagram?
No, you cannot pay for verification – the only way to get it is to apply for it and cross your fingers you’ll get it. That’s what makes it so elusive. But if you have nothing to lose by applying, why not just try?