Twitter revealed plans to bring back its verification program a few weeks ago, following a period of user feedback on how to improve it for the next innings. The social media giant has now announced that the company is officially relaunching its verification program with updated policies in place starting January 20 next year. The company will accept verification requests via a new self-serve application process that can be accessed from the Account Settings page on the Twitter web client or app.
The verification process will rely both on human review and automation. As for the changes made to its verification rules, Twitter says that a profile bio or header image is no longer mandatory for what it perceives as a ‘complete’ profile. Talking about a complete account, the updated policies define it as an account that has a verified email (or phone number), a profile image, and a display name.
Thank you for sharing feedback on our verification policy. You helped shape the version that we’re sharing today.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 17, 2020
Removing the verification badge from inactive accounts
Twitter says it will also start removing the coveted blue badge of verification from inactive and incomplete profiles. Twitter will notify such accounts in advance via an email and in-app warning to inform them about the impending action, and the steps they have to take in order to ensure that their verified status remains intact. All such accounts will have to make the requisite changes before January 20, 2021 to ensure that they don’t lose their verified badge.
Twitter is also working on new memorialization policies to ensure that accounts belonging to important people who are now dead don’t lose the verified badge. Twitter says it plans to create a new account type dedicated specifically to memorial accounts next year.
A new profile type for automated accounts
The social media giant has also announced that it is working on a new account type for profiles that are handled by a bot, and not a human. Twitter says the change will make it easy for users to distinguish between automated accounts from human-run accounts.
Twitter also plans to introduce verification categories for academics, scientists and religious leaders in the near future. But for now, folks who fall under any of the aforementioned categories, they can apply under the ‘Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals’ category.
Twitter has also updated the “News” category and made it “News and Journalists” for verified accounts, “Sports” becomes “Sports and esports” and the “Entertainment” category now includes digital content creators as well. Additionally, Twitter will now consider the minimum follower count based on a per-region basis instead of a per-country basis to ensure that the requirements are ‘more equitable across geographies’ and less likely to be spammed.