Twitter has for years offered verified accounts, which help brands and public figures establish the authenticity of their accounts and access additional features, including special filters and opt-out from group Direct Messages.

Previously, verification was offered to select brands and public figures, and there was no official way for those not selected by Twitter to request verification.

That changed this week.

Twitter announced a public verification application process that allows any brand or individual to request a verified account.

According to Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of User Services, “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.”

Here’s what marketers need to know about this development…

It’s open to all

Twitter’s new verification application process is available to all Twitter accounts that have a valid phone number and email address, and a bio, website, profile photo and header photo. In addition, accounts must be public and accounts for individuals must have a birthday specified.

Applications for verification can be submitted through a form at verification.twitter.com.

Twitter looks for certain characteristics

While accounts meeting the above criteria are eligible for consideration, in deciding which requests to approve, Twitter looks for accounts that have certain characteristics.

These include an account name that reflects the real name of an individual or company, as well as profile and header photos that are of the individual or associated with the company’s branding. As such, marketers looking to submit an application for verification should ensure that the Twitter account in question meets these criteria.

Brand accounts must be associated with a company email address, and Twitter may ask individuals to supply a government-issued ID.

There has to be a good reason for verification

Twitter won’t verify accounts unless it believes there’s a reason to.

Specifically, Twitter requires verification applications to explain why verification is appropriate. “If the account represents a person, we want to understand their impact in their field. If it represents a corporation or company, let us know their mission,” the company explains. 

To help support a rationale for verification, requests can and should include URLs to pages, such as news articles, that “help express the account holder’s newsworthiness or relevancy in their field.”

Content marketing and engagement FTW

While not stated, it would seem that marketers behind active Twitter accounts that regularly publish unique, compelling content and engage with followers would be more likely to win Twitter’s approval than accounts that aren’t adding value to the Twitter community.

While it probably wouldn’t make sense for a brand to up its investment in Twitter just to win Verified Account status, those that are already investing in the platform probably have few reasons not to try to take advantage of the new application process. 

There are no guarantees

Even when an account looks like a legitimate candidate for verification, Twitter isn’t necessarily going to approve a verification request.

Case in point: Hunter Walk, a former Google employee who now runs a venture capital firm, has tweeted more than 45,000 times since joining Twitter in 2006 and has more than 110,000 followers, but his application was denied.

At the same time, a user with 7,500 tweets who joined Twitter in 2014 and has less than 9,000 followers received Verified Account status.

Applications that are denied can be re-submitted after 30 days, so marketers that aren’t able to win Twitter’s approval the first time around should be proactive in making adjustments and trying again.