Instagram Opens Up Verification Process

Instagram logo on August 3, 2016 - Getty -H 2018
Carl Court/Getty Images

The social network said that people will now be able to request verification directly through the app.

Instagram is opening up its verification process. 

The Facebook-owned social network said Tuesday that users will now be able to request that little blue check mark next to their names directly through the app. 

Chief technology officer Mike Krieger penned a blog post outlining the process to request verification, part of a larger effort on the part of the photo- and video-sharing app to ensure the safety of its users. To be eligible for verification, accounts must adhere to Instagram's terms of service and community guidelines. The company will review all requests to confirm "the authenticity, uniqueness, completeness and notability of each account." In short, that means that verified accounts must represent a real, well-known person brand or entity that has a single public presence on the app.  

Not all requests for verification will be granted, per Krieger. Once a request has been viewed, the person will receive a notification about whether verification was declined or granted. 

The new application clears up a once-opaque process for verification on Instagram. Getting that check mark on services like Instagram or Twitter has become a status symbol for many social media users. Twitter also attempted to open up its verification process in 2016, announcing an application that anyone could fill out. But a little more than a year later, the company abruptly paused the program, saying that it needed to clear up confusion around what it means to be verified. The move followed a decision by Twitter to verify the account of Jason Kessler, who organized the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. The online application system has yet to be reopened. 

For Instagram, the verification application is meant to help more accounts authenticate their presence on the app. The company, which has 1 billion monthly active users, also introduced a feature called About This Account that will let users see more information about other users, including when they joined Instagram, the country the account is based out of, any username changes in the last year and ads the account is currently running. 

"Our community has told us that it's important to them to have a deeper understanding of accounts that reach many people on Instagram, particularly when those accounts are sharing information related to current events, political or social causes, for example," Krieger wrote. 

In addition, Instagram has said it will soon start supporting third-party authentication apps for logging into its accounts. This process, known as two-factor authentication, provides an added layer of security. 

Said Krieger, "We know we have more work to do to keep bad actors off Instagram, and we are committed to continuing to build more tools to do just that."