Instagram might be making it easier for you to become verified on its platform. Instagram is testing a new verification process with an official request form, which will be available within the app for the very first time. Right now, the form is only available in the iPhone app, if you’re in Australia. It will be a few weeks before it will be available to Android users in Australia (and a handful of other countries). It’s weird that it’s not being rolled out in the United States, but perhaps the reason is related to the number of people requesting verification.
On any social networking platform, verification is the absolute end goal for many. Historically, Instagram has verified very few accounts, and until now, it never had a public facing way for an individual to request verification. Because it’s been difficult to get verified, black market verifications have become increasingly popular. The people who claim to have connections at Instagram are charging as much as $15,000 in order to facilitate the verification process. Many users have been scammed, as this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Instagram has tried to crack down on this practice over the years, but it has had limited success.
All of that said, the company is hoping to end these scams and shady dealings and facilitate a better process. In Australia and the other countries where the new process is being tested, a “request verification” option will appear in Instagram’s main settings. From there, users will be able to provide their account info and a copy of their ID in order to request verification.
Instagram’s Strategic Partner Manager for the APAC Region, Nicci Meek had this to say:
“This new feature will allow our community the opportunity to apply for verification themselves, and understand the process behind getting verified on Instagram. We believe opening up verification to the public will also work towards safeguarding our community.”
What is interesting though is that the requirements to become verified, themselves haven’t changed. To receive verification the person must be the authentic presence of a notable figure, celebrity, global brand or entity that it’s representing. Requesting the verification is still part of the process. Instagram will then evaluate whether your account actually meets the criteria. Will this make a difference? Instagram made the following statement in a media release:
“Our community asked us for more transparency around this issue, and we hope this new feature will safeguard people from believing false promises of verification, and help more easily understand the process of getting verified on Instagram.”
I do think that this is going to help minimize the black market aspect of buying a verification. But I’m not sure that it will do anything except push more verifications through to Instagram. And, will people who are actually famous take the time to fill out the form? Maybe so, as I expect that it won’t be the celebrity themselves, but someone who works for them. As I said, the criteria to become verified hasn’t changed – just the process to become verified. If it will make a difference remains to be seen.