Twitter to relaunch account verification program starting January 2021
You will soon be able to apply for a verification badge on Twitter as the company has announced it will be relaunching the process next month. The latest communication shared by the social media giant comes a few weeks after it had announced its plans to bring back the public verification program in early 2021. Twitter has already given out details of its new policy which is said to be based on public feedback.
Apart from being the foundation for future improvements, the new policy will redefine what verification means, who is eligible for the verification process, and why some accounts will no longer have verification so that the program is equal for all. Based on the feedback of 22,000 people who were a part of a public survey, Twitter has now finalized its process and shared the fine details in a blog post.
Here are some of the changes that Twitter shared:
- The verification process will no longer require a profile bio or header image.
- Certain references to Wikipedia have been updated to better align with the encyclopedias’ published standards for notability and article quality.
- The title of the “News” category has been updated and will now include “News and Journalists” and the “Sports” category will now include “Sports and esports” to be more inclusive. There will also be a new “Entertainment” category to more clearly include digital content creators.
- The minimum follower count requirement on a per-country basis has been updated on a per-region basis to make the follower count requirements less susceptible to spam and more equitable across geographies.
- Categories for verification including academics, scientists and religious leaders, are also under consideration and will be introduced to the policy sometime next year.
Twitter has also shared the updated definition of a ‘complete account’ that will qualify for verification starting January 20, 2021. The new policy defines a complete account as one that has all of the following:
- either a verified email address or phone number
- a profile image
- a display name
To apply for verification in 2021, a new self-serve application process will be rolled out next month. This will be accessible to users under the Account Settings page on the web as well as the app. The new process will ask applicants to select a category for their verified status and confirm their identity by providing relevant links and other supporting materials. Twitter will use both automated and human review processes to ensure the applications are reviewed thoughtfully and in a timely manner. An option to share demographic information after completing the new verification application will also be provided so that Twitter can better measure and improve the equity of the verification process.
With that, Twitter would also be taking away the verified status from certain individuals. In case your account is at risk of losing its verified badge, Twitter will send an automated email as well as an in-app notification suggesting changes as to how one can avoid automatic removal of their verified badge. Such users need to make those changes before January 20, 2021 if they want to retain their blue tick mark. Verified badges from inactive accounts of people who are no longer living will not be removed. Twitter is currently planning a way to memorialize these accounts in 2021.
As an extension to the verification process, Twitter is also introducing profile labels for political candidates, government accounts, and state-affiliated media. Along with that, Twitter is working on giving designation to different account types, starting with:
- Automated Accounts: Accounts that post to Twitter automatically, also called bots, can bring a lot of value to the service when they share things like earthquake reports or self-care reminders. But it can be confusing to people if it’s not clear that these accounts are automated. In 2021, we’re planning to build a new account type to distinguish automated accounts from human-run accounts to make it easier for people to know what’s a bot and what’s not.
- Memorial Accounts: We know how important it is to preserve a Twitter account in memory of someone who has passed and we’ve talked about building Memorial Accounts before. In 2021, we’re planning to build a new account type specifically designed for memorialized accounts. This will also come with an updated policy for memorialization and a new application flow to request the memorialization of an account.
With the new verification process, Twitter is aiming to create a better experience for its users as well as advertisers and marketers. The new process as well as labeling of bot accounts could also help build trust in user accounts.