Social networks are vulnerable to celebrity impersonation and conscious tarnishing of brands. To deal with such sensitive issues, Twitter offers a perfect solution – Verified Accounts. As the name itself suggests, these accounts are verified by Twitter and their genuine owners are confirmed. Verified accounts are easy to set up and easy to operate. It’s an absolute must for celebrities and other prominent personalities to get verified accounts on Twitter to be safe from impersonators and fake accounts.
What are verified accounts?
Verified accounts are the accounts which are certified as being ‘authentic’ by Twitter. Twitter does a background check by contacting the users and confirming their identity. Once the checking process is complete, a ‘Verified Account’ badge appears on the user’s Twitter profile.
Twitter started rolling out verified accounts on a trial basis. The first preference is given to well-known public figures including actors, politicians, athletes, sportspersons, public officials and public agencies.
It is expected that Twitter will offer verified accounts to a larger set of users over the next several months.
How to get your Twitter account verified?
It’s darn easy. All you need to do is fill out a verification form and the Twitter team takes care of the rest. Twitter recommends that you provide a link to your official site containing the Twitter badge or a logo linking back to your Twitter profile.
Once your account has been verified, ensure that you do NOT modify your profile information otherwise the verification process will need to be done all over again. You’ll lose the verified badge from your profile as well.
However, here’s the tricky part. Twitter verifies a limited number of accounts. There’s no guarantee that your verification request will be processed by Twitter. I know of several celebrities whose verification request was turned down by Twitter. Therefore, Twitter advises users to apply for a verified account only if they are under the threat of impersonation accounts.
What about businesses?
Like any other social media proponent for businesses, the first question that came to my mind about twitter verified accounts was – What about businesses? After all, they are susceptible to impersonation and fake accounts as well. It is easy to setup an account for a brand and start spreading false information through your tweets.
Well, Twitter realizes the importance of having verified accounts for businesses. However, the verification service for businesses is ‘under testing’ and not yet available on the Twitter website. Twitter is not accepting new business verification requests but it is working on processing the existing requests.
However, it is widely believed that ‘Twitter for Business’ is all set for a public launch. Twitter has in fact rolled out the service to a handful of accounts in order to get early feedback from users. The Twitter for Business service is expected to offer a verified account, the capability to receive direct messages from followers and access to additional Twitter preferences.
I’ve always believed that Twitter leads by example amongst all social networks. Verified accounts are yet another feather in the cap for Twitter ahead of Facebook and MySpace.