What Does Having a Blue Tick on Twitter Actually Mean?

If you’re active on Twitter, you’ve definitely come across the blue tick badge attached to the profiles of some users. You may have seen it on the profiles of your favorite celebrities or public figures. But what does the blue tick on Twitter actually mean?

We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about the blue tick on Twitter…

What Does the Blue Tick on Twitter Mean?

The blue tick on Twitter signifies a verified account. A verified account is an account that has been confirmed by Twitter as being authentic. These accounts are often used by celebrities, politicians, and brands to show they are who they say they are.

The verification badge has since been adopted by other popular social media platforms as a way to tell whether the accounts of celebrities and other notable people and brands are real.

Why Does Twitter Verify Accounts?

Twitter verifies accounts of celebrities and brands to protect them from impersonation.

Twitter first announced that it was working on the beta version of the verification feature in its response to an impersonation lawsuit filed by former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

Before then, Twitter had also been criticized by other celebrities, including Kanye West, for allowing impersonators to create unauthorized accounts on their behalf.

Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone, explained in his response to the lawsuit, that the blue tick feature was Twitter’s attempt to clear up the confusion caused by impersonators.

What Types of Accounts Does Twitter Verify?

For a Twitter account to be verified it has to meet three main criteria: it has to be authentic, notable, and active.

But what qualifies an account as authentic, notable, or active?

Twitter’s Criteria for an Authentic Account

An authentic Twitter account is one whose details match that of the user. Parody accounts and fan page accounts are never verified, no matter how many followers or how much engagement they have.

Twitter’s Criteria for a Notable Account

Notable accounts are accounts that represent or are associated with a prominent individual, brand, organization, or agency.

Read more: Twitter Is Bringing Back Verification, But Not Without Some Changes

Examples of notable accounts are: accounts of key government officials and offices; accounts representing companies, brand, and organizations; accounts of news organization and journalists; accounts of major entertainment companies; accounts of professional sports leagues, teams, athletes, and coaches; and finally, accounts of activists, organizers, and other influential people.

Twitter’s Criteria for an Active Account

For an account to be considered active, the account must have a complete profile with a name and image. The account must also have a confirmed email address or phone number.

The account should not have violated the Twitter rules and must have logged in at least once in the past six months.

Benefits of Getting the Blue Tick on Twitter

A verified Twitter account is a big deal. It can mean more followers and greater credibility on the platform. Here are some of the most popular benefits…

1. Greater Credibility

Having a blue tick on your Twitter account offers more credibility and helps increase trustworthiness among followers. With it, you are more likely to be taken seriously by your followers and prospective followers. Don’t we all love to hear from “credible” sources?

2. Reduced Fear of Impersonation

A verified Twitter account reduces the likelihood of someone impersonating you. Users can also easily find your “official” account through search as verified accounts are more likely to show up in search results.

Plus, verification helps cut back on phishing. When your followers know you have the blue tick, they can tell that anyone trying to contact them without it isn’t you.

3. More Followers

When you earn the blue tick on Twitter, your account is likely to experience faster growth as the verification badge signals to potential followers that this person’s content might be more trustworthy, since they have gone through the verification process.

4. Potential Increased Engagement

Other users are more likely to engage with your tweets because they’re from a verified account. This is because the blue tick is regarded as an identifier of value and, as such, tweets from a verified account are considered worth engaging with.

5. Sign of Trust From Twitter

While Twitter has been clear about the fact that the blue tick on your account doesn’t translate to an endorsement, the fact that it is giving the tick so selectively shows that you had to pass some kind of test to get it.

6. Can Lead to Verification on Other Platforms

As we outlined in this post about how to get verified on TikTok, linking your verified Twitter handle to your TikTok account can increase the odds of you getting verified on TikTok.

Is the Twitter Verification Blue Tick Permanent?

The Twitter Terms of Service empower it to remove the blue tick from your Twitter account “at any time and without notice”.

Some actions that may lead to the removal of your blue tick are:

1. Changing Your Username or @handle

Twitter automatically removes the blue tick from your account if you change your username or @handle. This is to help check the risk of popular accounts being hacked and renamed.

2. Switching to a Private Account

Opting for the private account option, where only your followers can see and engage with your content, automatically makes you ineligible for the blue tick.

3. Allowing Your Account to Become Inactive

This is based on Twitter’s criteria for an active account. Twitter removed blue ticks from inactive accounts in January 2021 as part of its new policy for verification.

If your account becomes inactive, you will lose your blue tick badge.

4. Leaving the Position You Were Initially Verified For

Say you were an elected official and you leave office. Or a reporter for a major publication who has since retired. Twitter may remove the blue tick from your account if it finds that you no longer meet the verification criteria.

5. Changing Your Display Name or Bio

Making large-scale changes to your display name and bio might lead to the loss of your blue tick as Twitter may interpret your action as an attempt to mislead people.

Related: Ways to Use Twitter as a Research Tool

6. Violations of the Twitter Policy

Any violation of the Twitter policy that leads to the suspension of your account can cost you your blue tick. Your blue tick can also be removed if you repeatedly violate Twitter’s content policies.

Can You Now Apply for Verification on Twitter?

Twitter paused its public verification program in November 2017 after it was criticized for verifying Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right rally where white supremacists marched in Charlottesville.

After a three-year-long silence, Twitter announced in November 2020 that it had made some changes to its verification policy and that it plans to relaunch the public application process in 2021.

It’s not clear exactly when Twitter plans to relaunch its public application process for verification, but hopefully, you’ll be able to apply for and get your blue tick (if you meet the verification criteria) soon.

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