A recent report on CNBC has suggested that Twitter is considering a new revenue source –  ‘Verified Twitter’.

The idea is simple.

Twitter account holders would pay a fee (suggestions are that this could be as low as $1.00 per year) and Twitter would give the account the  Blue Badge indicating that the account has been verified.

What is Twitter Verification?

A Twitter account with a blue verified badge beside their name on their Twitter profile is a verified account.  The Blue Badge on BAFTA’s Twitter Profile (below) is assurance that you are viewing the real BAFTA Twitter account.

Bafta on Twitter

At present Twitter verifies accounts on an on-going basis to make it easier for users to find who they are looking for.  Verification establishes the authenticity of ‘key’ individuals and brands.

Verification is not based on the number of Tweets or Followers that an account has, but on Twitter’s own determination of what it considers a high sought after account.

These tend to be musicians, actors, famous politicians, sports people, business personalities and similar.  Essentially if you are famous,  notorious, popular or notable; Twitter will verify your account.

(View Twitter’s Guidelines on Account Verification)

Why is Twitter verification important?

Users can identify real accounts from fake or parody accounts.

From a business perspective Social Media is a very useful tool for Customer Service, Support, Public Relations and many other areas.  For Social Media to be successful in this area, it needs to show that it ‘keeps it’s house in good order’ and instills confidence in users and providers. Nationwide Building Society’s  ‘Ask Nationwide’ is an example of a company using Twitter for Customer’s questions. (The account is verified)

How do I get my Twitter account verified?

Whether as an individual, a brand or a company, you cannot request Twitter to be verified.  If Twitter considers your account to be one of the ‘sought after’ your account will be verified automatically.

Why the Change?

As with any business, Twitter is looking for additional revenue streams and how to leverage it’s large user base (approximately 300 million) to achieve this.

Angel Investor Jason Calacanis has suggested that Twitter ‘verification hungry’ brands may be charged up to $100.00 for quick verification.

Benefits of Twitter verifying more accounts?

Apart from generating revenue for Twitter, benefits to users could include:-

  • Users know which accounts are real.
  • Ability to only show verified accounts.
  • Would help reduce ‘Trolling’
  • Online abuse / Cyber Bullying could be better reduced/prevented.

Are there downsides?

Cynics may suggest that this is just a money making exercise for Twitter.  Once Twitter has your credit card details you would be persuaded with more products and services, you may not want.

As a means of verifying a business or person, a  credit card may not be the best option; people could still buy fake accounts.

Other Twitter Resources