If you've been lusting after that tiny blue checkmark that designates your Twitter account as verified, now is your chance. Twitter has decided to open up its secretive process of verifying profiles and accept applications from everybody — if you're "of public interest," that is.
"We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification," Tina Bhatnagar, vice president of user services, said in a news release. "We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience."
Twitter is mostly looking for leaders and groups in fields like journalism, politics, sports and music, according to its release, but that doesn't mean you can't throw your digital hat in the internet ring.
Visit Twitter's Help Center to request to start the verification process.
But you can't go in blindly. You'll need to have your profile fully filled out — that means having a phone number and email associated with your account and a bio, avatar, birthday and website posted. Your account has to be public and should be in your real name. Then you'll have to give a good reason you should be verified. Links may help you prove why you're important or newsworthy.
"If the account represents a person, we want to understand their impact in their field," the support page reads, adding that it may have you send over a copy of your ID, as well.
And... that's it. Twitter will email you with the verdict. Don't like it? Don't worry — after 30 days, you can reapply for that sweet, sweet Twitter badge.
Twitter has more than 310 million monthly active users, so being verified can help you stand out. Only about 187,000 accounts are currently verified, according to its news release, but the sheer number of people applying for the status is surely about to skyrocket.
Another change: Because the new verification application requires an avatar — which Twitter recommends be of yourself — it could cut down on the number of anonymous users who tend to hide behind celebrity photos or the omnipresent egg graphic, according to the Verge.
In any case, becoming verified will put you in good company. "It's like the Illuminati of social media," MoveOn.org producer Ben O'Keefe told the Atlantic. Among your peers will be Katy Perry, Barack Obama, Harry Styles and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to digitaltrends.com.