Since Twitter first started verifying accounts, the steps behind getting a blue check mark beside your name have remained shrouded in mystery. Now, The Verge reports that Twitter has taken a huge step towards making the process a lot more transparent. On July 19, the social media platform announced that all users can access an online application to request verified status.

According to Twitter, the desirable blue badge is reserved for accounts “determined to be of public interest.” Musicians, actors, journalists, athletes, politicians, and businesses are a few of the account types most likely to receive the distinction.

Twitter originally started verifying accounts as a way for followers to weed out imposters from the real thing (the CDC was one of the first accounts ever verified to help the public know they were getting reliable health information). Today, with Twitter’s troll problem reaching new highs (or lows), one of the most desirable aspects of verification is the option to only receive notifications from other verified accounts.

If you think your account deserves to receive a check, you can apply for one by filling out a form. While you shouldn’t expect Twitter's vetting process to be any more relaxed than it has been in the past, there are a number of things you can do to boost your chances of getting approved. Before you submit, make sure your profile includes your website, bio, birthday, and a header and profile photo that represents you or your brand. Setting your tweets as public is required, and featuring your actual name on your account is recommended. If you’re affiliated with a company or organization, linking your account to that professional email address will also be helpful. You can read the rest of Twitter’s guidelines here before taking a shot at joining the less than 1 percent of verified users.

[h/t The Verge]

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