Becoming verified on Instagram has just become a whole lot easier.
Instagram's process behind becoming verified and receiving a blue tick has been shrouded in mystery, but a recent update promises to change this. Blue ticks are social media shorthand for saying 'I'm important', with celebrities, big brands and influencers on platforms like Facebook and Twitter wearing them with pride, and now they're more accessible than ever on Instagram.
An update to Instagram on Tuesday made it possible for users to easily apply for verification. This replaces the previous system where Instagram chose who received the blue tick. The same update also promised several other features to make sure users stay safe when using the app.
How to get a blue tick on Instagram
To get a blue tick on Instagram you need to head over to the “Settings” page, accessed from your profile. Everyone can apply, but not everyone will be accepted — you need to meet some requirements before you get that blue tick.
Firstly, you need to make sure your account meets the site's Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. Since content and/or users who don't meet these criteria are usually temporarily or permanently blocked, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Secondly, you must provide proof of a government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or driving license. Alternatively, you can provide official business documents which prove your identity, such as a tax filing or utility bill. Any information provided is private, and Instagram won't let anyone view it.
The application process also requires you to provide your full name. Instagram has not yet said if they'll accept people whose full name is different from the name on their ID, which could happen in a number of circumstances.
Thirdly, you must send off the application and wait. Instagram will notify you once they've reviewed your application — if you're unsuccessful, you'll be able to re-apply in thirty days. If you're successful – well done! You can enjoy everyone's envy at your new blue tick.
How to check the validity of an Instagram account
Instagram has outlined a new feature that allows users to check the validity of another Instagram account. Essentially this is so anyone can check that an account's activity matches who they say they are.
You'll be able to view the date they joined Instagram, which country their activity suggests they are based in, and if they've had other usernames, among many other things. This lets users check to see if the account is stealing the identity of someone or is a spam account by comparing their content to the 'behind-the-scenes' information. For instance, if a user's content is primarily set in one country, but their activity suggests they're based somewhere else, it's possible they're using someone else's pictures.
Instagram says this feature is set to roll out in September 2018, once accounts with large audiences have time to check their information. Instagram hasn't said what “large audience” actually means, or what they'll be able to do with this information.
How to validate your Instagram account with third-party authenticators
Instagram is finally adopting third-party authentication apps. These apps are a popular alternative to SMS or email authentication for social media platforms, and so it's a welcome addition for extra Instagram security.
Previously Instagram only offered SMS as verification for Two-Factor Authentication, which isn't a viable option for those in areas with unreliable mobile signal. Now, Instagram recognises a collection of third-party apps from which you can collect a code to log you into the site.
Popular third-party apps include Authy, Duo Mobile and Digidentity. This feature is set to roll out within the next few weeks.