On some social media platforms, there is a system for identity verification that proves to the system, and the followers of one’s account, that they are really who they say they are. Twitter is one of the most famous account-verifying networks. So is Instagram, one of the pioneering image-sharing platforms for mobile that is now a Facebook subsidiary. Despite that, a remarkably few Instagram accounts have been duly verified, as indicated by a blue check mark on a user’s ID image. It seemed so hard and complicated to authenticate on Instagram, but the platform appears to be changing that now.
TechCrunch reports that Instagram is easing up on and increasing the number of means by which a user can verify their identities on the platform. There is now a new method for authenticating accounts on their service that would be made available. It is granted and enabled for celebrity Instagrammers as well as most accounts with large numbers of followers. To check if your own Instagram page is good for verification, you can go to the app’s “Settings” menu which has a new “Request Verification” option. Here they can share their account name, full name and an attached file copy of any legal or business ID they have in possession.
Once the pertinent information and documents are sent (Instagram of course will not share personal info to the public), then the user is left to wait for a notification on their account verification, whether approved or rejected. If it is the latter, then the user must wait again for 30 days after receipt of the notification before they can try to apply for authentication again. Instagram will judge accounts for verification based on authenticity (the personal info is real), unique (user only has one Instagram account), complete (account is public, with filled-out info and at least one post), and finally “notability” (account represents a well-known and highly-searched entity or individual).
It is interesting to note that while there are a lot of celebrities and big brands on Instagram, some of them do not have the check-mark indicator of a verified account on the platform even when they are already prominent to the public. There have even been reports of some Instagrammers who have resorted to black market connections in order to have their accounts verified via dubious and unlawful shortcuts.
In other updates, Instagram is now also offering app support for third-party authentication software. This enables users to securely log onto their accounts by means of a two-factor identity verification process including various authentication apps available on the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android. These features have been introduced slowly and will eventually cover the global Instgram user-base over the following weeks.
Image courtesy of JOE.ie