What is the gold check mark on Twitter? The saga of verified accounts on Twitter has reached its end. (Finally.) After months of beleaguered changes, the program that once identified notable accounts—like those held by journalists, major corporations, and public figures—has faded permanently into the past.
However, the blue check marks originally signifying verified status aren’t disappearing. Instead their meaning is now different. Check marks of other colors have now joined the line-up, too.
You can boil the whole system down as a set of subscriber badges, with distinctions between each one. We’ve explained them for you below, but be warned: Twitter has continually shifted its approach to check marks and how they’re applied to accounts. What’s current now might not be so in even just a couple of weeks.
As for being sure a Twitter account is official, you’ll now need to verify the account name (e.g., cross-check against an official website) on your own.
What is the gold check mark on Twitter?
A gold checkmark indicates that an account is an official business account which has been verified by Twitter. Gold checkmarks are reserved for businesses.
This sets them apart from government accounts (which get grey checkmarks), professional accounts (which have self-selected category labels and are not verified) and the ever-so-controversial Twitter Blue accounts alongside legacy verified accounts (which both get blue checkmarks).
The great thing about gold checkmarks is they are whole-heartedly new – no confusing backstory to contend with here! For customers this means more transparency; for businesses this means clear verification.
Additional features for accounts with gold checkmarks
Alongside the aquisition of a gold checkmark, another identifiable feature of an official business account is a change in the shape of the profile picture. Most Twitter profile pictures are circular, whereas official businesses on Twitter are awarded square profile pictures alongside the gold checkmark.
This makes business accounts recognisable at a glance and is a handy feature not shared by other social media platforms. For example, on Instagram, businesses and brands can walk among the masses practically undetectable without venturing onto a profile.
However, financial brand @WatcherGuru has already found a flaw in this system. Its profile picture is a circular image inside a white square. With Light Mode display settings enabled, this makes the square profile picture undetectable in a content feed.
Gold checkmarks can look different
On mobile, some gold checkmarks can appear as simple gold ticks, without the statement spiky circular badges we’re used to seeing. It’s unclear whether this is a bug, a loading delay or some other issue that needs to be ironed out. All that’s obvious is that these golden ticks are the same as golden checkmarks, just appearing a little differently for some accounts, some of the time.
Affiliate accounts get gold checkmarks
When you apply for a gold checkmark, you must enter an expected amount of affiliated accounts. This allows you to add gold checkmarks to subsidaries of a main brand. On your main business Twitter account, you may have an ‘Affiliates’ tab which links to affiliated Twitter accounts of the verified account. On an affiliated account, the gold checkmark may be followed by an icon identifying the main verified account.
How to get a gold checkmark
You have to apply to get a gold checkmark on Twitter. You can currently sign up for early access to Verified Organizations, which is for businesses and government organisations seeking out a relevant verification checkmark. If your business is eligable, it’ll be added to a waitlist to receive a gold checkmark.
On the application form, you’ll need to enter the:
- Organisation’s name
- Organisation’s Twitter handle
- Organisation’s email address
- Full name of the applicant
- Organisation’s website
- Organisation’s size
- Organisation’s type (business or government)
- Expected number of affiliated accounts
- Plus, you’ll need to read and accept the terms and conditions.
When you’re ready to apply, head to: https://business.twitter.com/en/form/verified-organizations.html
Join businesses already on Twitter proudly sporting gold checkmarks. Big brands such as Disney, McDonald’s and Penguin Books USA have blagged themselves a shiny sticker… but it’s not just the big dogs taking home the medals. Plenty of businesses with smaller followings have grabbed themselves a golden goody. Brands such as @GreenMtnCoffee, @BasicBooks and @strategist join the growing number of gold checkmark holders.
What should businesses do about Twitter’s new checkmark policy?
Twitter has started to remove blue checkmarks from users who have elected not to pay for the verification indicator.
Twitter verification for individuals currently costs $8/month (or $11/month though iPhones). Twitter also started offering a discounted $84/year subscription this week.
Official organizations, such as the White House, will continue to be verified with a grey checkmark.
Companies and businesses can pay $1,000/month for verification and receive a gold checkmark; an additional $50/month will verify their affiliate or employee account. Twitter does not verify blue or gold accounts to ensure they are who they say they are, as was the case with the previous blue check system.
And Twitter now appears to require that advertisers will also have to pay for verification. But an email from Twitter published by TechCrunch seems to suggest that if the advertiser is already paying at least $1,000/month in advertising, they would be granted a gold checkmark.
“Business accounts spending in excess of $1000 per month already have gold checks or will soon, and they’ll continue to enjoy access to advertising without interruption at this time.”
Some users, including many news organizations, have vowed not to pay for accreditation, arguing that it no longer signals authority if any user can purchase a checkmark. After the New York Times announced that it would not pay for verification, Twitter removed its blue check.
Some companies, however, appear to have paid for the gold checkmark, including Samsung, Nike, Adobe, and the NFL. But these gold checks may have simply been granted to these companies because they are already spending at least $1,000/month on Twitter for advertising.
Effectively, Twitter seems to be attempting to steer high-profile users—whether individuals or companies—toward paying for a checkmark. Some companies apparently believe there is benefit to be gained by paying for a checkmark, even though another user can pose as that company by paying for the same level checkmark.
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