Twitter to verify more users: How to get that blue tick
Twitter has launched another campaign to get more users to sign up to the embattled social network: it's going to offer more users a "blue tick".
Actually a white tick on a blue background, the tick is a sign of officialdom and has traditionally been reserved for users considered "official", such as celebrities, public figures and organisations. But Twitter has now opened the stamp to all of its users who can apply to be verified through a simple form.
"We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter, so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification," said Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter's vice president for user services.
The change is one of many in the last year that the company hopes will attract more users after its growth stalled earlier this year. Among the more controversial suggestions were the removal of the 140-character restriction and the introduction of an algorithm-based timeline, which swiftly prompted the hashtag #RIPTwitter to trend.
In the last year the network has introduced a curated news section called Moments and will now verify more accounts. Until now, just 187,000 of the social network's 320 million monthly users had been verified.
Security experts worry that ubiquitous blue ticks could cause more Twitter users to click on malicious links from accounts impersonating brands.
"There is a growing trend of malware and ransomware attacks on social media with bad actors impersonating brands to bait users into clicking malicious links," said Ben Harknett, the vice president for Europe and the Middle East for security company RiskIQ. "The increased availability of the blue tick means that users are even less likely to question its validity."
Users who think they qualify for a verification tick for having a "great, high-quality account" that is of "public interest" can apply through a form that Twitter will post to its site later this week.
In order to be given a blue tick, users will need to prove that they are who they say using a verified phone number and confirmed email address. To check that you have these details go to Settings by selecting the cog icon on your profile in the app or by clicking on the profile icon in the top right hand corner of the browser page. You can verify your email address under the Account tab and phone number under Mobile.
Users will also need to have their account set to "public" in order to be verified, which can be done by going to Settings -> Security and Privacy -> deselecting "Protect my Tweets".
Other criteria include a short biography, header and profile photos, birth date, and website address. You can check that you have all of these details by going to your Twitter profile and selecting "Edit profile".
The company could also ask would-be verified users to upload a scan of a government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver's licence.
Twitter will notify users via email whether their request has been successful. If not, they can reapply within 30 days.