Relieving stress: Two juniors attempt to get their Instagram account verified

March 31, 2020 — by Jun Lee and Edwin Chen
ig verfied

Two newspaper bois try to look famous without actually being famous

Although we will never run out of work to do as juniors, we are running out of things to do for fun while we’re putting off that work. 

While scrolling through the Explore page on Instagram and noticing how many verified accounts there are, we had the idea of trying to get verified just for fun while brushing aside our massive junior year workload.

For the un-Instagram informed, being verified means  that you have a small blue check mark next to your account name. According to Instagram, this means that they “[have] confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”  

We are not exactly part of a global brand or a celebrity and our number of followers reflect that sad fact. Edwin is currently at almost 300 followers while Jun is at around 850 followers, much less than accounts that are typically verified. Meanwhile, most verified people that we knew about had at least 500k followers such as the YouTuber group NELK and rapper Bankrol Hayden. 

Despite our low number of followers, we still went about our quest.

We hypothesized that verification is based on account size, but we found lots of accounts with millions of followers without the blue checkmark, and some accounts with as low as 90,000 or 100,000 followers that have it. We even found an article on Shopify where an account got verified with less than 400 followers. 

Though it seemed like this would take a lot of time, the amount of “aMaZiNg ClOuT” we would get for becoming verified seemed worth it. 

A quick Google search found that the process begins with sending a verification request. In a form within the Instagram app, you must fill out your real name and send a photo ID to prove that you are who you say you are. This process seemed easy enough, so we filled out and submitted the form. 

However, we quickly found out that the process is not as straightforward as it seems. We tried it on Edwin’s account first, planning to try it on Jun’s next if it didn’t work out. Unfortunately, Instagram rejected both our requests within the day. All Instagram said was that our accounts didn’t meet their criteria for verification, so we decided to read those standards over carefully again. 

Since a verified account or the owner of a verified account must be a public figure, we found we had to make our previously private accounts public. Most people keep their accounts private for privacy’s sake, but we turned the setting off just for the verification.

Instead of submitting another request, we decided to DM Instagram’s own account, begging them to give us the badge. We hit Instagram up both on Jun’s account and Edwin’s account, hoping that they would at least read our message. 

They could not even be bothered to read our message because to this day, we are still on delivered. We’re still working on other ways to reach Instagram. 

We also realized that Instagram only gives a verified badge to accounts that have a considerable number of followers. Based on our experience of watching streamers and trying on our own accounts, we would say accounts with around 100k followers that are not meme pages are eligible for verified access, which contests the myth that people with low followers can still get verified.

Maybe some accounts with 400 followers get verified, but that only happens once in a blue moon. In point of fact, most normal people cannot get verified. Even if you meet Instagram’s verification requirements of having a public account with at least one picture, the lack of public presence dooms most requests. 

Though this was frustrating, it makes sense that verification badges are exclusively reserved for those with influence on their platform and have legitimate reasons to protect their accounts from being cloned. 

Our attempt of getting verified obviously did not work out, but we both agreed that it was a fresh experience that gave us a break from our workload stress. Despite junior year throwing endless piles of work on our desks, we find that moments like this, where we can just have fun with friends and try new things, even if they confirm what we already knew: We’re not Instagram verification worthy.


2 views this week