Understanding Verification on Instagram

By Cory Lancaster

September 2, 2021

Over the last few months, we’ve made some updates to improve the verification application process on Instagram and Facebook. Here’s more info about what’s changed, what you should keep in mind when applying for verification, plus some other answers to frequently asked questions.

What is verification?

At its core, verification is a way for people to know that the notable accounts they are following or searching for are exactly who they say they are. It’s a way for people to know which accounts are authentic and notable. Verification badges aren’t an endorsement from us, nor do we consider them a symbol of importance.

As a part of our ongoing equity work, we revisited our verification process and found that some people were uncertain about the purpose of verification, how accounts get verified and whether verification affects how an account is treated on Instagram and Facebook.

Over the last few months, we’ve made it a bit easier for people to request verification by updating the form you see in the app. We made updates so people can better understand what needs to be submitted for verification, and to offer more transparency on our requirements. These requirements are consistent across Facebook and Instagram.

How do I get verified?

To be verified, you must follow our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines. In the application process (available directly in the app) we require the following things:

  • Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
  • Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Notable entities (for example pets or publications) are also eligible.
  • Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts.
  • Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo and at least one post.
  • Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched-for person, brand or entity.

We verify accounts that are featured in multiple news sources. We don't consider paid or promotional content as news sources. Across Instagram and Facebook, we recently expanded our list of news sources to include more diverse outlets including those from additional Black, LGBTQ+, Latinx media, and including more outlets from around the world for example. With the updates we’ve made, people can also now share information about their audience, the region they're most popular in, and add up to five news articles to help our teams have more context when reviewing the applications.

What does verification mean and NOT mean?

Simply put, verification signals authenticity and notability. It’s not an endorsement from us, and being verified doesn’t mean that your content is favored by our systems in terms of where your content shows up. We try to ensure impartiality in the verification application process by relying on sources such as credible press coverage and examining the person’s cultural impact. For example: are they currently a big part of what people in their community are talking about? Have they recently gone viral?

Unfortunately, we know verified accounts can present a security risk for account holders. Hackers may attempt to take control of a verified account to sell the badge (as well as the hard-earned following). We highly recommend that verified accounts have two-factor authentication set up for protection from hacking and to be mindful of scams and impersonation attempts.

Can I transfer my verification badge over to another account?

Verified accounts can’t change the account’s name or transfer that verification onto a different account. The purpose of the blue badge is for people to know that the account has been vetted and we have confirmed that they are who they say they are.

What happens when we detect a suspicious or malicious verification?

If we find that verification was acquired in a malicious way, or that an individual is selling verified accounts to others, we will take action. We conduct regular sweeps both on and off the platform to find and remove malicious actors from Instagram. Learn more about Instagram’s Community Guidelines here.

We’re always making changes to improve everyone’s experience on Instagram and Facebook, and we hope this post helps explain how things work when it comes to verification. For more information on verification, check out our Help Center.

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