Please note that: @TweetSmarter is not verified, not a Twitter partner, we don’t work for Twitter, and we don’t run Twitter ads.
The upshot: Unless you’re famous and being impersonated, or an important politician or government agency, to get verified:
- It costs $15,000 to be verified for 90 days -or-
- You need someone who spends (probably more than) $5,000/month to ask on your behalf (many artists get verified this way without knowing how their agent or agency got them verified)
This is based on my experience, and a recent article from the holder of a verified Twitter account that says specifically this is how verification works:
“…you need to spend a minimum of $15,000 ($5K over three months) in order to “buy” verified status from Twitter. Or you need to know someone who’s “in” with Twitter (read: spending ad dollars with them) who wants you or your business to get verified.”
(But: see below for some “loopholes.”) This has also been confirmed by AdAge, which states “A Twitter Sales Rep Said Getting Verified Costs $15K.” Elsewhere, Twitter is quoted as saying:
“Twitter currently verifies government accounts, accounts at risk of identity confusion or impersonation, and a select number of business accounts for alpha testing.”
“…Please note: Twitter isn’t verifying business accounts yet unless they’re part of the alpha testing program. If you are part of the alpha testing program and your request was denied, please visit your business center page for more information.”
“Verification is something we offer our active advertisers meeting the $5K/month minimum spend associated with our Platform Partnership.”
“…If you were to re-visit Promoted Products further down the road and were able to meet that $5K/month minimum, this verification would be reinstated.”
Twitter Will REMOVE Your Verification If You Don’t Keep Paying Up
Twitter told an account holder who had been verified, and then UN-verified:
“One way to receive verification is if you are being impersonated (i.e. celebrity, politician, etc). The other is if you are an active advertiser. When you are running Promoted Products, verification is a value-add similar to analytics and Brand Pages. Digital Trends (the name of the account that had been verified and then UNverified) received verification as an active and engaged partner on our ad platform. Since you are no longer advertising, you no longer have that value-add.”
Twitter specifically says that their “…verified accounts program is currently closed to the public” and that they are “not able to accept public requests for verification.” But, “If you’re one of our partners or advertisers, please follow up with your account manager for details.”
It’s really hard to predict who can get verified. Twitter even verifies fictional accounts at times! Official Red Cross digital volunteers have also been verified in the past (in advance of Hurricane Irene).
Some people even get verified without knowing why, others with a legitimate request “try everything” with no success.
The Hidden Truth
Twitter lets their “partners” (mainly companies that spend a lot of money doing advertising with Twitter) request verification for pretty much anyone, and that’s why some people get verified without knowing why: their agent/manager/etc is connected with a Twitter partner and put in the request.
In that case, it’s the old game of “who you know.” Unless you want to spend a lot of money with Twitter yourself.
Of course, there are sometime conflicting stories. Take, for example, how @CharleSheen got verified so fast: His people worked through Twitter partner ad.ly. Or did they? Gullov-Singh (@Arnie) of ad.ly was directly quoted saying:
“…we got [Sheen] verified through Twitter….We know a bunch of people at Twitter, and we reached out to them…”
Can you buy a verified account?
Yes and no. Apparently even after you spend $15,000 you still have to ask, and Twitter can still turn you down.
And verified accounts that aren’t very popular—some with as little as 1,373 followers, as @nwjerseyliz points out, are likely verified through organizations that advertise with Twitter or work with Twitter partners, or they got in back when the system was public, and they were public or semi-public figures that had problems with impersonation.
What else can you do?
Realize that even in the past, they mostly only verified public accounts that were in danger of impersonation (“accounts who deal with identity confusion regularly”), so they are unlikely to make verification ever available simply by a request accompanied by proof.
If you have an official website, link to your Twitter profile from it—it’s the easiest way to prove your identity to followers. Don’t put fake “Verified” symbols on your background or in your username, such as “verified ✔”—it just looks lame. Real verified accounts will look like this:
Why Wasn’t My Account Verified?
Special features of verified accounts
On July 4, Twitter began allowing Verified Accounts the option to receive DMs from ANY follower. and in January 2012 they began distributing verified account information to third party apps.