On the way, one muddy evening, I started talking to a traveler by chance with a lover of photography of Instagram and how to get a verified account, or rather a verified account: the blue tick next to his name. I’ve never been particularly interested in the thing but it seemed to be very important for him.
Indeed, around the verification of the account of Instagram there is a real market: until recently, some employees of Instagram sold without too much restraint the possibility of verifying the profile. Today Facebook has tightened its controls and has fired some, but it seems there is still a black market. Verifying an account can cost between a few hundred and thousands of dollars. All without guarantees. Not bad for an unfaithful employee.
Intrigued by our conversation, I did some online research to find out more. I’ve heard about it many times but, being something I’m not very interested in, I’ve never really studied it in depth. A world has opened up for me. Dozens and dozens of companies promise, all strictly without guarantees, to make you get the coveted blue tick. Clearly in return. I’ve tried it too, that’s my experience.
Which site to use to be verified on Instagram
I started my Google search looking for the way to propose my case to Instagram but it seems, unlike Facebook and Twitter, that the thing is not possible. Account verification is by invitation only, or almost. In fact, some agencies of communication and relations with the press have a portal from which you can report VIPs, the personalities that in their opinion Instagram should verify. All together with a detailed PDF file in which to support the case. Here is found the system loophole . Several online actors propose to build your case. I chose one that had positive reviews online and, I admit, cost relatively little.
I will not explain here what I used because the aim of this article is not to offer a tutorial but to tell my experience.
How many followers do you need to get verified
Here we begin to enter into the most absolute opinions: Instagram does not declare any rule and on the web everyone has his own theory, regardless of skills. I can say that a follower limit, if there is one, is minimal: I have seen verified accounts with a few hundred followers even if the trend is that the verified accounts are quite popular; not if however this is cause, effect or simple self selection, adverse selection.
For the record, my Instagram profile claudio.raimondi has mainly photos of my travels and some extremely sporadic photos that I take in my life as a non-journalist. At the beginning of the experiment there were 182 followers. Not exactly Chiara Ferragni.
What to do to get verified
Once I found the partner of this adventure in an American company that deals exclusively with verifying accounts on Instagram, I started the verification process. A couple of clicks and unfortunately I was not compatible, my profile not having all the requirements that according to them increase the chances of being verified.
There are four criteria that they required to continue:
- have at least 1000 followers,
- have obtained 250 like averages per post for the last 6 posts
- have an average of 5 comments per post for the last 6 posts
- have a healthy followers/follow ratio.
Of all those above the only criterion that my profile met, i was the fourth (182 followers, 26 followed). Too bad it was the only one not to be paid. For all the others, instead, they would have been able to help me for a fee.
Buy followers on Instagram
The first thing to do was to buy followers to reach the minimum number to continue. The smallest package that would allow me to reach the 1000 followers in a few days… was the one with 1000 followers. I ended up buying 1200 thanks to a great upsell during checkout, to be sure. Cost: 19 dollars.
Getting Likes on Instagram
On the basis of the like criteria. Being my account an account of about 20 likes a post, getting to 250 seemed an impossible task in a short time. Also here, through a small payment with PayPal, the problem was solved: the smallest package available, which is the one I chose, was 250 likes for the next 30 posts. That said, I did. I only had to write 6 more posts, to have the necessary posts with at least 250 like, but this would not be a problem. Being on the road my activity was relatively frequent. Cost: 21.25 dollars.
Increase comments on Instagram
Of course, this wasn’t the end of it. Comments were missing. The engagement on my account is not at the levels that would be needed. Don’t worry: 30 comments for $3.39. Cost: 6.78 dollars (I’ve done it 2 times).
Getting an Instagram Verified Account (the blue check mark)
Finally it was time to check my account. Without even realizing it, using a swinging Ugandan Wi-Fi connection strictly in VPN, you never know, I found myself with my account aligned with the minimum requirements and ready to start the process to get the blue badge indicating the accounts verified (and with $47.03 less).
The verification process started with another PayPal payment: $129 for the all inclusive service. For the record, the basic service cost 30 dollars less and provided the same services net of sending the file to Instagram. I didn’t choose it for obvious reasons.
After about 72 hours from the payment I received an email from Matt, the person who would help me build the case, with some request:
- confirm my Instagram account name (evidently did not to go wrong, thanks to Matt for the precaution);
- send a list of online articles that talk about me. Online there is some interview done for work, I sent him some URLs. It seems that this step was not mandatory anyway;
- specify what I do in life and what people might know me for (I quote verbatim);
- signal what makes my profile Instagram special. Yes he used the word special;
- send a brief explanation of why in my opinion my Instagram account should have been verified.
On the last two points I must say I had some difficulties. I didn’t know what to write, but I threw down a few lines anyway.
Sent the email with all the answers Matt took 5 working days to write a document that would support my case, which will then send me for review before sending it to Facebook, and to compose two articles about me on a private blog and Medium. To try to mitigate the risk of crazy economic investment I asked him to include on both links to articles of my blog and to my profile , to get at least some benefit of SEO. They refused.
After a few days, to be safe, I decided to buy another 12,000 followers for $51.75. Theydeliver them to me a hundred a day for 4 months, so as not to make Instagram suspicious: actually to go from a few hundred to 12,000 followers in a short time would be very suspicious.
How did it end
Less than 20 days have passed since I started the process and finally, after following the whole procedure carefully, I received a response from Instagram:
Unfortunately we are not able to verify your Instagram account at the moment.
In other words, nothing we can to do. No blue check, no profile verified and $227.78 on PayPal. I’ll try again in 30 days, the second submission is free. Goodness.