There are over 1 billion active users on Instagram.
So even if you have a rare name, there’s a good chance someone else with that name is also on Instagram. If you have a page for your business, someone else may have a similar or identical username.
So how do you stand out from impostors? How do you let people know they’ve found the right account?
The Instagram verified badge is the answer. It’s the tiny blue checkmark that proves you’re “legit.”
But it’s not like just anyone can get it. (And if they could, that would render it meaningless.) There are a lot of hoops to jump through before you can even hope to get verified.
In this guide, we’ll teach you exactly how to get verified on Instagram, including 5 extra tips to ensure you get that blue check next to your name.
How Many Followers Do You Need to Get Verified on Instagram?
There are no hard and fast rules about exactly how many followers you need to get verified on Instagram.
Of course, if you get to the Selena Gomez level of fame it’s a no-brainer. Not verifying her account would mean giving someone else access to a fan base of almost 200 million Instagram followers.
But you don’t need millions, or even hundreds of thousands of fans to get verified.
If you’re active on the platform and have a recognizable brand (personal or otherwise), you can get there with a much smaller follower base.
MMA fighter Brian Kelleher has a verified account with “only” 17,000 followers.
Some accounts get there with fewer than 10,000 followers. The Shopify Stockroom has 6,000 followers (and first got verified at 1,000).
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Bang Muay Thai, a famous martial arts trainer and school. The account has over 60,000 followers with no verification badge in sight.
So followers obviously aren’t everything. Many other factors impact whether or not Instagram accepts your verification request.
Can a Normal Person (or Business) Get Verified on Instagram?
The short answer is yes. It’s not as hard as you think. A normal person or small business can get verified on Instagram.
But it’s not like everyone can just roll up and demand a blue badge without putting some work in.
You need a sizable Instagram following before applying. Think at least a few thousand followers. But we’ve already established that followers alone aren’t the whole puzzle.
So if followers aren’t everything, who exactly is eligible to get verified on Instagram? What characteristics do you or your account need?
The official requirements are quite simple.
- Real: The Instagram profile must represent a real person or business.
- Unique: It must be the only (legitimate) Instagram account representing the person or business (except for language-specific accounts).
- Completed profile: You need a completed bio, a profile picture, and at least one Instagram post.
- Noteworthy: You or your business must have established brands that are often searched for or mentioned in multiple news sources.
The first three points are simple and to the point. Pretty much every Instagram user ever meets those requirements.
But the last requirement of being noteworthy is a little bit more tricky. Based on analyzing many smaller verified Instagram accounts, we’ve noticed a few trends.
- Online mentions: You don’t need to be a famous actor; getting covered in industry publications or even blogs and podcasts also matters.
- Established brand: Your website is the top Google result, etc.
- Decent-sized social media following: Even if Instagram specifically is still small.
- Vulnerable to impersonation: Are there fake accounts pretending to be you or your business?
You don’t need to become an actual celebrity. You just need to prove that your online brand is worth something.
How to Send Your Application to Get Verified on Instagram
Getting your account verified used to be a process filled with smoke and mirrors. Nothing was official, and many turned to shady dealers who promised they could get it done.
But ever since 2018, it’s been a public process built straight into the Instagram app itself.
Anyone can apply.
Things to do before you apply
Everyone can apply, but far from everyone will get accepted and verified.
To boost your chances, there are a few things you should do before you send in your application.
Do you already have an established digital brand through organic SEO and other social media channels?
If not, focus on building your brand first, before sending in the application.
Are you actively using Instagram to its full potential?
If you’re not posting daily, using stories, and all the other publicly available features, start doing so. Proving that you’re invested in the platform is a great way to win some extra goodwill.
These aren’t the only factors that impact whether or not you get accepted, but they make a real difference. Read our tips section below for more detailed information.
Step 1: Log into your account and open the settings
Log into your account, visit your profile page, and open the drop-down menu.
From there, you should see a link to the settings at the bottom of your phone screen.
Tap the settings menu to proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Navigate to the Verification Application
Once you’ve opened the settings, scroll down until you see the “Account” link, and tap it.
From there, you should see the “Request Verification” link in the menu. Click it to continue to the application page.
Step 3: Fill out the application
Finally, all that’s left is to fill out the application and send it.
Note: Lying about personal details or falsifying proof can lead to losing your badge or even getting your account deleted. Be honest.
Make sure you also consider these things when filling out each field:
- Full Name: If you use your original name for your Instagram account, your full name is enough. If it’s a business account, you need the full name of the owner or an employee whose name appears on your official business documents. It must be their full name, as it appears on official identification.
- Known as: For personal accounts, you should use a common alias or nickname. Your followers may know you by your initials rather than your full last name. For business accounts, just type your company name.
- Category: Choose the category that makes the most sense for your account. If it’s a business account and no other categories fit, choose business/brand, not other.
Once you’ve filled everything out and chosen your category, you need to upload a photocopy of your ID.
Choose the file, upload it, and your application is ready to send. Click the send button to finalize your application.
All that’s left to do is wait.
5 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Getting Verified on Instagram
If you’re dealing with people trying to piggyback off your brand recognition, not being verified is a horrible feeling.
So we’ve included 5 further tips to help you boost your chances of getting that verification mark.
1. Don’t apply before you’re ready (optimize your account first)
Don’t just apply for verification when you have 30 followers and five thrown together posts on your account.
The badge itself isn’t automatically going to turn you into a successful Instagram influencer.
Just because technically you could apply (you only need one post) doesn’t mean you should.
We get it. An Instagram verification badge helps legitimize your business or personal brand.
You want it ASAP.
But before you apply, you should do everything you can to prove your account worthy.
- Build your Instagram followers. Read our guide on how to get more Instagram followers for more information.
- Write the perfect Instagram bio. Make sure you represent yourself or your company well.
- Use a professional picture or easily identifiable company logo. (It should be easy to connect the dots.)
Give Instagram every reason to take your application seriously.
Real people are involved in the verification process. You need to convince them that you matter. It’s not about a checklist or tricking an automated system.
2. Build your following on other platforms too
Of course, it’s not just your Instagram following that can impact whether or not you get verified.
You should build your following on every social media platform where your audience lives.
MMA competitor Brian Kelleher is a good example of this. He’s also active on Twitter with the same username. He has a similar number of followers, 18,000, and is also verified on that platform.
If you have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, you may not need any other platforms.
But if you don’t, you should diversify your presence. Get on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, everywhere that makes sense for you. A wider presence helps Instagram, and everyone else, see the potential of your brand.
Not only will it help your chances of getting the badge, but you’ll also reach new audiences.
3. Establish and protect your brand with SEO
It doesn’t matter if you’re a company or personal brand, you want to control the search engine results.
For example, let’s take a look at the company Ryan Homes. It’s an established real estate company with a verified Instagram account.
A Google search will instantly legitimize the company and show that it “owns” that brand name or phrase.
That’s what you want for your company or personal brand as well.
4. Earn coverage in blogs and magazines
Another factor that the Instagram team considers is whether or not you are getting mentioned in news publications.
Again, Brian Kelleher is the perfect example of this. He goes out of his way to comment on controversial news stories to earn press coverage.
When the Instagram employee considering his verification checked him out, they found stories from multiple news sources. It’s impossible to mistake his identity.
Just look at the Google news results.
Reach out to blogs and magazines in your industry. Land interviews on podcasts and shows. Run a crazy promotion.
Act like an influencer and make moves to influence your industry.
Do what it takes to get mentioned and build your brand online. Make sure that there’s no room for error when someone checks your online reputation. That your name is synonymous with you and not anyone else.
Even if it doesn’t land you a verified badge, it’s still a great way to boost your brand awareness.
5. Stay active and use Instagram to its full potential
Finally, you need to stay active and use Instagram to its fullest potential.
If you want a verified badge, you’ll have to earn it. Masterfully using Instagram to promote you or your business proves you’re invested.
Why would Instagram prioritize verifying an inactive account?
Staying active can only act to your advantage.
How Long Does It Take to Get Verified on Instagram?
While there’s no official timeline, most users who submit a request are verified within 30 days.
There’s a wide range of timeframes reported by different users online. For some, it took as little as a few hours or minutes. Others report waiting weeks or even months before they got their verification marks.
Either way, you shouldn’t just passively wait after submitting your application. Stay active on Instagram and work on your online brand in general to improve your chances.
By building your presence on multiple social media platforms, investing in SEO to make sure you rank for your search phrase, and staying active on Instagram, you boost your chances of getting verified.
But at the end of the day, whether you get it or not comes down to the split-second decision of a Facebook employee.
If you don’t get it on your first application, focus on building and growing your presence on the platform. You don’t need a blue check to succeed on Instagram.