Like Facebook, Instagram also has been subjected to criticism over bots and fake accounts. To address these concerns, the company has come up with three measures, including making it easier to request for verification on Instagram.
Simplifying verification on Instagram
One rarely sees a verified account (a blue check mark) on Instagram, even among the big brands and public figures. The process of getting verification on Instagram has long been a mystery with no one knowing exactly what happens behind the scenes. Reportedly, there has even been a black market in operation, if someone wants verification on Instagram, they can get it, but at a cost.
Now, it appears that the company is making efforts to demystify the verification on Instagram. The photo-sharing app is working to make the whole process transparent, and now, anyone can apply to get verification on the platform.
“Today we are enabling a new way for accounts that reach large audiences and meet our criteria to request verification through a form within the Instagram app,” the company announced yesterday.
Instagram’s latest security seems to be inspired by the fact that Facebook announced methods to track misleading accounts. These measures specifically address the concerns of foreign accounts influencing election results. Previously, Facebook said that it deleted millions of fake accounts this year, and that it is becoming harder to track bad actors.
How to get verification on Instagram?
To request for verification on Instagram, head to the “Settings Menu” from your profile and look for an option “Request Verification.” Next, you will have to submit relevant documents. For instance, the photo-sharing app accepts driver’s license, passport or other national ID cards. One can also give official documents like tax filing, article of incorporation or utility bill.
Instagram assures that the documents submitted are for internal purposes only and won’t be made public. Next you will need to wait until the company reviews your documents. According to Instagram, a user will be notified if their account is approved or rejected. A rejected applicant may reapply after thirty days.
Explaining what exactly it looks for while processing the request for verification on Instagram, the company said it evaluates the account for “authenticity, uniqueness, completeness and notability.” Additionally, the company also checks the accounts with the platform’s terms of service.
Before you apply for verification, make sure it is complete, made public, carries a profile photo, at least one post and a bio. Also, your account must not include any “add me” links to other social media services, the company says.
Other security measures from Instagram
Apart from the verification on Instagram, the company introduced two more steps to make the accounts and platform safer.
First, account profiles will now show the date on which the account joined Instagram. In addition, it will display the country where the account is located, if there have been any changes made to the user name in the last year, any ads running and accounts with shared followers. Popular accounts, i.e., the accounts with substantial followers, will be able to view their account information starting next month. All the information will be viewed under the “About This Account” section, which will be publicly available in the fall.
“Our community has told us that it’s important to them to have a deeper understanding of accounts that reach many people on Instagram, particularly when those accounts are sharing information related to current events, political, or social causes,” the photo-sharing app said.
The other security measure introduced is the update to the two-factor authentication support. The 2FA option on Instagram now supports more third-party authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator, DUO Mobile and more. Earlier, the platform only offered the 2FA with the code sent via an SMS.
Two-factor authentication is becoming the norm in the current scenario, where any account is at risk of being targeted by hackers. Even gaming sites are encouraging users by giving them free items to adopt 2FA, for instance, Fortnite is offering users a free emote if they adopt 2FA.
Instagram says it is not going to stop here, and will continue to update its security measures. Instagram “know[s] we have more work to do to keep bad actors off Instagram,” says Mike Krieger, co-founder and CTO.