Twitter finally offers verified accounts to the masses

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It's finally happening, and I, for one, could not be more excited. I might even tweet about it.

That's right, Twitter is finally offering verified accounts -- you know, those little blue check marks next to the name of someone famous on Twitter -- to the non-celebrities among us. But what exactly does having a verified account mean? And why does this matter?

In IT Blogwatch, we search the twittersphere for the answers.

So what exactly is going on? Andrew Hutchinson gives us the background:

Since the introduction of the blue verification tick on Twitter...the symbol has acted as a marker of the on-platform elite.
Reserved for celebrities and public identities, the verification tick...has...become...a badge of honor...Indeed, many a “guru” and “influencer” has lamented...that they’ve not been verified and have no avenue through which to apply for such...the only way to get verified in recent times has been to wait and hope that Twitter notices you.
But now Twitter...announced that they’re...opening the application process for verified accounts.

Verified accounts for everyone! But how do you apply? Chris Duckett has some pertinent information:

In order to receive a tick, users must hand over...their mobile number, and...a birthday. [Twitter]...uses birthday information for advertising and customisation purposes.
Twitter has warned that when processing the application, it will request additional information.
"We may request...a legible copy of your government-issued confirm your identity," a support page states...If a denied, users can reapply in 30 days.

And why shouldn't Twitter have a copy of your passport? But before you hand it over, are you are wondering what is the history of verified accounts? Twitter's official press release wants us to believe just how important the program is:

Twitter was the first platform to introduce account verification, starting in 2009 and...has close to 187,000 verified accounts. The @CDCgov was one of the first...accounts to be verified in order to help citizens find authentic and accurate public health information...other first accounts...include @NASAArmstrong, @KimKardashian, @Oprah...and @TonyHawk.

We get it. It was important for the masses to know they were getting sage advice from the actual Kim Kardashian, as opposed to some imposter. But what does having verified accounts mean to the rest of us? Chelsea Hassler explains:

Being verified isn’t just a status symbol for those...deemed important by the Twitter gods. The that it grants you the option to filter out the trolls and spam accounts that often plague those in the public eye...It also lets users track what sort of influence they’re driving among their followers.
In the coming months, we’re absolutely going to see...professional Twitter verification application writers claiming an absurd success rate with their custom-tailored applications...that also means that there will be a small, sad group of verification application readers in a room somewhere at Twitter HQ...Kudos to Twitter for not running away at the thought.

So what is the main takeaway here? Mitch Wagner sees the big picture:

Even people who wear socks with sandals can now get verified Twitter accounts.
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