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(Pocket-lint) - Instagram has allowed users to apply for verification on their accounts since 2014. In other words, a verified badge can be now requested through a user’s own profile.

This is great news if you have a large following and have been hoping for Instagram to notice you and give you the coveted blue check. As of right now, you can take matters into your own hands and apply directly from the Instagram app. Here's what you need to know and do.

What is a verified badge on Instagram?

A verified badge is a blue check that appears next to an Instagram account's name in search and on the profile. It essentially means Instagram has confirmed that the account is authentic and represents a notable public figure, celebrity, or global brand.

How to apply to be verified on Instagram

To apply for a verification badge, go to your profile in the Instagram app, then go to Settings, and tap “request verification". You'll need to provide your account name, full name, and legal or business ID. Instagram will later notify you if your request has been approved or rejected.

  1. Make sure you're logged in to the account you want to get a verified badge.
  2. Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines).
  3. Tap Settings (gear) > Request Verification.
  4. Enter your full name and provide the required form of identification.

Note: If your request is denied, you can request again after 30 days.

Are there any requirements to apply?

Yes. Instagram said it will first determine if you're of public interest. It also needs to confirm that your account represents a real person, business, or entity, and that it's the only, unique account for that person or business. It also requires that your account be public and have a bio, profile photo, and at least one post. The profile can't contain any "add me" links to other social media services.

Lastly, your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand, or entity. Instagram reviews accounts featured in multiple news sources, for instance. And it doesn't verify general interest accounts (example: @puppymemes).

How long does the approval process take?

Instagram says that after applying, users will get a notification in their Activity section "up to 30 days" later. As noted, Instagram requires you to wait another 30 days before reapplying if you get rejected the first time around. 

What is the 'About This Account' feature?

In 2018, Instagram added an "About This Account" feature to profiles with large followings. This will show when the account joined the platform, the country it's located in, any username changes in the past year, and any ads the account runs. In a blog post, Instagram said, "Our community has told us that it’s important to them to have a deeper understanding of accounts that reach many people on Instagram."

Want to know more?

Check out Instagram's support hub for more details.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Alex Allegro.