When you're poking around Twitter looking for accounts to follow or Tweets that may be interesting, the little check mark next to an account name catches your eye sometimes, doesn't it? That check mark means that an account has been verified, and often appears on the official accounts for business, celebrities and the like. Often, everyday folk don't achieve a level of fame that warrants the need for a verified account, so the general public has, up until now, found it hard to get their account verified. A recent update to the main Twitter website, however, allows anybody who wants to apply for a verified account to do so. Verified accounts generally belong to either a business or government entity, or a person with a heavy public presence in a field like music or journalism.
In order to qualify for a verified account, you'll need a few key things in your account before applying. First, you'll need a unique profile photo and header photo. You will also need a bio of some sort, though they don't say what makes a good or bad bio; likely, they just want to see that effort was taken to write something fitting. Accounts that are not for a business will also require a birthday. Twitter will need to be able to verify your phone number and email address, as further proof that an account applying for verification belongs to a real person. A website will also be needed, and the account asking for verification will need to have their Tweets set up to be viewed publicly, for obvious reasons.
Along with all of these criteria, Twitter requests a reason that you're asking for verification, with a cap of 500 characters for the mini-plea. At this point, you can also submit additional websites to verify yourself, such as your other social media accounts, a personal blog or, for members of the media, something like a listing on their site's contributor database. Whether the Twitter team decides to confirm your request or deny it, you should hear back within two days. A verified account generally helps with getting more engagement and viewership on your Tweets, so if you use Twitter to engage with an audience or market yourself, applying for verification may be a good idea.