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How not to get verified on Twitter: Why applying for the blue tick gave me the blues

Twitter verification rejected

After Twitter announced last month that anybody could apply to be verified, I was pretty sure this was my chance.

Had the coveted blue tick been opened up to everyone when I was still a student using Twitter for the odd tweet about running late for lectures or links to my blog, I wouldn't have been interested.

Now, however, as a journalist working at The Drum, I was sure it would be a hop, skip and a jump to get that little sought after icon as an "account of public interest".

I suppose it was more of a vanity thing than anything else, but the idea of being verified was all too exciting for me, the other reporters in my team are verified so I assumed it would be a straight win for me. I knew that there would be a lot of people applying, including bloggers and YouTubers, but I had the edge of work this time.

The application

Following a quick Google, scroll and click – well several clicks – I found the application. I was surprised at how easily I found the right link, usually with this kind of thing it takes ages, but this was a three-click job and then I was on to the application process.

After working out how to verify my email and mobile number, something you need to do to apply, I entered the new details along with my Twitter handle and clicked 'next'. I expected to be faced with a number of different questions along the lines of 'explain yourself in the three words' or 'share your life story in 140 characters' – but instead I was simply asked why I should be verified and to supply at least two links to prove that I am worthy of verification on the internet.

Naively I thought 'pfft, I work for The Drum, this is easy, link one, supplied'. I also run my own (aforementioned) lifestyle and fashion blog that has been dragging people in from the cold for almost two years – so link two, also supplied.

Both combined, I figured these would give me two strong sources by which to prove that I am a creator. In hindsight, Twitter's recommendations suggest that when providing URLs to support your request users should "choose sites that help express the account holder’s newsworthiness or relevancy in their field," so I could perhaps have strengthened my application by directly linking to my own articles.

This did get me thinking though - what if a reporter didn't work for an online publication? Or if the person applying for verification had an entirely different career altogether, what would they do then do prove they were a profile of public interest? Does Twitter take into account Facebook or Instagram presence? Twitter's only guidance on this is that tweeters should "choose sites that help express the account holder’s newsworthiness or relevancy in their field."

The question of why I deserve the tick of destiny next to my name was the hardest part of the whole process.

I sat and thought about the real reasons that it would be cool, it would be something I would probably brag about, but and in the end I simply explained that I am a creator every day whether it is for The Drum or for my blog.

I also explained that I work closely with brands, and how being verified on my favourite social platform might make it easier for me to grow my audience and establish new contacts.

Personally. I thought that 'favourite social media' note would do the trick. Nevertheless, I added the links and hit 'submit' and was left to twiddle my thumbs as I awaited the results of my online worth.

Thanks, but no thanks

Six days went by, and then I missed the email. I completely by-passed it in my Monday morning skim thinking it was just a 'what’s popular in your area' email. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through Twitter over a week after applying that I realised I didn’t have a blue tick that I thought to search my rejection.

And there it was, a no-longer than twenty-word message, plain as day in the cold light, telling me I was not eligible.

It read: "We reviewed the account, and unfortunately it is not eligible to be verified at this time. Please visit our Help Centre for more information about the types of accounts we verify."

I began to break down the 'supply two links' element of the process and thought that my lack of directness could be the issue. Maybe I should have included article after article to show them that I've published stuff under my byline.

I thought about the application and why it had been opened to the public in the first place. According to Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice-president of the user service, the process was opened up to make finding creators and influencers on Twitter easier.

"We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience," she said, but what did that mean for me?

Second time lucky?

I won’t lie, I was a little hurt. I read between the lines of the short response from Twitter and naturally, I spoke to my friends about it in the hope they would tell me I was better than the mark of my value. Instead we joked that I should email and give them a piece of my mind but in the end came to the conclusion I should just try again.

This time, I should supply direct links to my work on The Drum, on my blog and any other freelance work I have done in the past. Bombard them with links to show the creative side to me and the work I can produce.

So in 30 days I will try again and you never know, maybe I will be successful. Maybe Twitter will take pity on me and just throw a verification my way to make me feel like I have some self-worth or maybe I will miss the rejection again and forever wonder what I did, or don’t do right. But for now, I guess I should start reconsidering my career path.

If you would like to get verified on twitter, follow our simple step by step guide, and you should be on your way to receiving that special blue tick.

Jenny Cleeton is The Drum's editorial assistant and blogger at JAC & The Box, she tweets @jacandthebox.

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