Twitter announced on Wednesday

it will now let any user apply to have their account verified. However, will more accounts actually gain Twitter verification? The answer appears to be yes.

When Twitter announced this change in application process for verification, it did not appear to change what sorts of accounts it deems as worthy and likely to be successful in obtaining verified status:

An account may be verified if it is determined to be of public interest. Typically this includes accounts maintained by public figures and organizations in music, TV, film, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.

But why?

Another conference. “Great.”

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This got me wondering, along with many other social media geeks… What’s the real reason Twitter was making this fairly high profile change?

  • Was this a PR play to increase daily active users?
  • Was it in an attempt to reduce the on-going issues of trolls and abuse on the platform?
  • Was it to reduce the workload of Twitter staff who get inundated with requests for verification via email?

Or was it something else?

I was sceptical, and questioned whether Twitter would verify more accounts versus what it has done in the past. My hunch was they would get millions of requests within days, but no change in verification volume would be seen.

I decided to dive into the limited data available to find out whether my hunch was right… or not.

To do this, I used TwitterCounter to identify the total number of accounts Twitter’s official @Verified account was following, and how that broke down per day in 2016 (so far).

FYI – Twitter’s @Verified account automatically follows all newly verified accounts.

Now, although my methodology may not be 100 percent accurate, it should give us a good indication of what’s going on.

Here’s what I found

@Verified: Total number of accounts followed per day (January - July 2016)
@Verified: Total number of accounts followed per day (June – July 2016)
  • Total number of verified accounts on Twitter: 190,000 (0.061 percent of total daily active users)
  • Total number of accounts verified by Twitter in 2016 (so far): 39,000
  • Average number of accounts verified by Twitter per day in the last three months: 140
May 2016
  • Average number of accounts verified by Twitter: 123
  • Total number of accounts verified by Twitter: 3,807
June 2016
  • Average number of accounts verified by Twitter per day: 106
  • Total number of accounts verified by Twitter: 3,165
July 2016 (so far)
  • Average number of accounts verified by Twitter per day: 219
  • Total number of accounts verified by Twitter: 4,800
July 2016 vs. June
  • Increase in the average number of accounts verified by Twitter per day: 107 percent
  • Increase in the total number of accounts verified by Twitter: 52 percent

What it all means

So there we have it! It does in fact already appear that Twitter is verifying more accounts than it previously has (per day on average and in total).

Of course, it’s early and Twitter is not stupid. They know this data is not hard to find, and may be wary of people like me checking what impact their verification process change actually amounts to in real terms.

This could just be a short term rise while people are focusing on Twitter verification. Also, the numbers here are fairly small to make watertight conclusions from just yet.

However, if this is a longer term trend, you may best get on with your application for Twitter verification and see what happens.

Bear in mind though, this data suggests Twitter is verifying only 219 accounts per day, on average. That equates to a microscopic 0.000070 percent of its total monthly active users.

Good luck!