What Are the Advantages of Being Verified on Twitter in South Africa?
Ever since Twitter showed their verification process to public applications via form, It’s big news. and I’m not the only one that thinks so. Why is it, though? What’s the big deal about verification?
At first glance it seems like nothing more than a little check mark next to your name. That can’t possibly have a huge impact, can it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to cover all of the ways verification can help you out, so you know exactly why you should work to earn it.
Identifier of Value Determined by an Authority
This is an interesting perk of verification, because it only works as long as people consider Twitter to be an authority. In the past, verification has been solely at the discretion of Twitter. You couldn’t request it or really do anything to attract it besides grow as a person or as a brand, to the point where people notice you, and then to the point where Twitter notices you. This meant that verified users were all verified through direct notice and intervention on the part of Twitter themselves.
The thing is, Twitter has opened up their verification process. I’m skeptical as to whether or not they will actually be broadening their requirements and allowing more people to be verified, but if so, it actually takes away from the value of verification. As long as it’s an exclusive club membership granted to just the members of the illuminati and the various celebrities Twitter has decided deserve it, it’s valuable. As more and more people – people with less and less authority and less and less in the way of noteworthy elements to their brands – gain verification, the potency of verification diminishes.
It remains to be seen whether or not this is the case. I suspect that, for now, verification is not actually open to a broader audience. Twitter is just opening up the form to catch the people they missed in their standard passes. However, time will tell if the average user is capable of earning verification.
Adds Accountability and Stability
This is one of the more common recent concepts on Twitter, and why a lot of people think Twitter opened up verification. They suspect that all of the rampant bullying on the site has driven Twitter to try to broaden verification as a means of holding people accountable.
The idea is much the same as using Facebook comments on a blog. By requiring a real name and a real account for some external site, Facebook in this case, you cut back on spam. Not only do you have Facebook’s spam filters in place, you have people not wanting to spam using their real name. It’s a reputation thing.
Verification is the same. People will be obnoxious, vile and horrible cretins behind a veil of anonymity, but when their names are exposed and their reputation is at stake, they will think twice about making such posts.
However, most of the people doing the bullying are not people noteworthy enough to be verified. For Twitter to use verification as an anti-bullying measure, they would need to make it open to just about everyone, and it loses all of the value from the first point.
What I would be interested to see would be a new second-tier level of verification. You would have a sort of exclusive Value Verification, which is what the current blue checkmark is. Then you would have the Identity Verification, which is less valuable as a measure of authority, but more of a verification that you are who you claim to be. This would allow for filtering of non-verified accounts entirely, to cut back on anonymous harassment. A pipe dream, unfortunately, as I doubt Twitter would actually implement such a system.
Access to Twitter Analytics
This one is a relatively minor perk. Twitter Analytics are actually surprisingly basic and can be replicated or supplanted by third party applications without much trouble. mentioned Twitonomy extensively on this site, but there are certainly other options out there. Twitter’s native analytics aren’t bad, per say, but they’re not on the same level as Facebook Insights or Google Analytics. Even so, having access to native analytics is nice for when they add new forms of data or when they provide reports that might be tricky to find in other ways.
The reason this is a minor perk is because you can already get Twitter analytics by default. All you need to do is sign up for Twitter for Business, their ads system. It’s a simple process to do so, and you don’t have to ever actually make an ad, or even add in credit card information. The only drawback to doing so is the constant reminder emails from Twitter that you’re “one step away” from spending your money with their system.
Sign of Trust Amongst the Twitter Community
While some skeptical users will decry the value of verification, the fact is that it’s still a valuable source of authority amongst the average user. Most people are learned in the arcane ways of marketing. All they know is that some people have a blue checkmark and others don’t, and that having one is a good, rare thing. It’s much the same way that a lot of people know that earning a Medal of Honor in the military is a high accolade, but they don’t know anything more specific about it than that.
You don’t need to know the ins and outs of Twitter marketing or the details of earning verification in order to understand that having it bestowed upon you by Twitter themselves means you have passed some kind of test of worth.
Additional Security Measures
In order to apply for verification, you need to have a validated email address, an accurate birthday, and a verified phone number all in Twitter’s system. The phone number in particular is of value as a form of two-factor authentication, and the email address is a way they can use to deal with you for password recovery and other account protection options.
This helps because it enforces having proper digital security measures. Sure, you could use a throwaway email address and a burner phone, but then if your account is compromised or locked under suspicion of such, you have no way of recovering it. It’s simply good practice to use additional layers of security.
It’s not as if verification adds any more security options. It’s simply that anyone who goes through the process – or anyone interested enough in it to apply – has to perform those steps in order to be eligible in the first place.
Prevents Twitter Identity Theft
Impersonation on Twitter can range from the benign parody account to the malicious phishing attempt, and it’s the latter that are the worst for businesses to deal with. When someone sets up a profile with your information copied from your profile, there’s very little way for users to determine which is the real account. They can look at the recent tweets, the account creation date, and the interaction history, but that only goes so far.
The trouble is, most victims of phishing tend to be the older and less tech-savvy members of the site. These are the people that might not even realize that phishing is a thing that can happen. They don’t know that the threat is there, so they’re not aware of the warning signs. They might also be maliciously targeted. A phisher could impersonate your account and then start sending messages to your followers saying they’re eligible for a free upgrade or gift, all they need to do is register their account information with the spammer’s site.
Verification helps cut back on this because it’s a simple indicator of authority. People know that you have the blue check, and they know anyone trying to contact them without it isn’t actually you. Now, it’s a toss-up whether or not they recognize it at the time, and people will still fall for phishing scams as long as there are people in the world, but it’s another layer of protection.
It Can Lead to Verification on Other Sites
When you’re a noteworthy person or brand, but not high profile enough to be verified automatically upon registering like a top-tier celebrity or multinational corporation, you can use all the help you can get. One such source of assistance is verification itself. If you, for example, wanted to be verified on Facebook, you might shoot for Twitter verification first.