❯ Guillaume Laforge

Becoming Twitter verified

Probably for vanity sake, or perhaps even out of jealousy seeing friends becoming “twitter verified”, I was curious to see if, me too, I could get those little ticks beside my name on my Twitter profile.

Generally speaking, verified accounts are accounts of “public interest”. It can range from your usual movie stars, to politicians, from well-known artists, to company CEOs, but also persons somehow well known in the twittosphere, including tech luminaries, representative of particular tech communities, etc. So, seeing my tech friends getting the little tick, I thought I should try that out.

And on my first try… I failed…

I didn’t completely failed, as I didn’t get the usual message saying I failed verification, but that some tweaks could be made to my profile to add some more information. They asked whether the account name reflected the real person’s name (in my case ‘glaforge’ maps well to my name!), and if my government issued photo ID was legible or not (and it was the case too). So I was puzzled, and didn’t really get actionable items to pursue.

For my first attempt, I initially scanned my national ID card, but I guess it’s not a very well known format, so on my second try, I instead scanned my passport. Even if I’m not feeling safe sending a scan of my ID… but that’s for another story.

I didn’t change anything, but two months later, I tried again, and this time it worked!

After bragging about being verified on Twitter, I got several DM conversations asking for advice. So I’ll just repeat some of the advice given by Twitter themselves, and add my own into the loop.

First, be sure to read the following articles from Twitter:

The last one is the most important of the three.

You should really have:

  • verified phone number: It’ll be checked with a text message and a code, pretty easy step.
  • confirmed email address: Same principle, be sure to use a real email address, and a similar verification step takes place.
  • bio: I think the bio is pretty important. It describes the “public” person that you are. So if you’re a singer, mention that you’re a singer and give a link that proves that you are one, for example the website of your band. During the verification, you’ll be asked for up to 5 links confirming who you are, so don’t hesitate to reuse one of those links in your bio, or related twitter account, etc.
  • header photo: I don’t think the content of the header photo really matters, but verified accounts need to have a header picture. Even if it’s just a nice landscape, it should be there, instead of just the colored background.
  • birthday: I’m not sure how important this really is. But if you indicate your birthday, it better be the same date as the one provided on your ID scan obviously!
  • website: For the website, I used the URL of my blog. And this is also one of the URLs I’ve given in the form to request verification. This URL should point at a place that can prove who you are: on my blog, there’s a section about me, describing what I’m doing in life.
  • public tweets: your tweets should be publicly visible, otherwise, no point in requesting being verified!

The documentation says it’s better if the account name reflects the real name of the person. So it might help. But if you’re known with a particular Twitter handle, I don’t think you really need to change it for the sake of becoming verified. But it might be harder with a strange Twitter handle than a handle that resembles your name.

When you fill the form for requesting verification, you will be asked for up to five links. In my case, I gave the URL of my blog (which, as I said, has a section explaining who I am, shows my real name, and also a picture of myself, so they can check the Twitter avatar, the photo ID as well). I also gave my LinkedIn profile, my Google+ profile. And I think that’s all. Anything that proves you’re who you claim to be can be useful.

Last but not least, there’s a form field where you have to justify why you request becoming verified. In my case, I wanted cover the two “aspects” of my life: at day, I’m a Developer Advocate for Google, and at night, I’m working on the Apache Groovy open source project. For reference, here’s the blurb that I used:

Leading the Apache Groovy project, I’m a spokesperson for the successful open source project, and for the ecosystem & community around it. In my day life, I’m also a Developer Advocate, at Google, on their Cloud Platform. Having my Twitter account verified would be an additional stamp of approval for my involvement in the Groovy community and with the company’s product I advocate for.

After my first attempt two months ago, I tried again over the weekend, and the next day, I got the email confirming my account was verified! Yay!

I hope this article is helpful. Don’t hesitate to share your own tricks in the comments. At least, following the advice above, I was able to get verified. I have about 11K followers, but I’ve seen people with less than half as many followers also become verified. So the number of followers is not everything. But I think paying attention to the quality of your profile is what ultimately pays off. So good luck with your verification process! And don’t hesitate to share your own tips in the comments below.