This week, Instagram joined Twitter and Facebook by announcing account verification applications for influencers. Additionally, the social network announced two new security and trust features to fight spam and abuse.
In this article, we'll walk you through Instagram's new verification and security features. Instagram announced these features earlier this week and each will launch over the coming weeks.
How to apply to be verified on Instagram
Influencers and other public figures will soon be able apply for verification by tapping on a new "request verification" button in the Settings window of the Instagram app. Before this, Instagram contacted influencers for verification directly.
When applying, Instagram will request your account name, legal name, and legal ID. The company will review your info and follow up on your approval status after an unspecified amount of time. Instagram hasn't specified which accounts are eligible for verification, but we assume it will be restricted to accounts with high follower counts.
Once approved, verified accounts will have a small blue checkmark displayed next to their Instagram profile picture. This tells your followers that you are really who you say you are, improving trust and making your digital presence feel more legitimate.
We're happy to see Instagram roll out verification applications for influencers and brands. In an era of "fake news" and phishing scams, it's more important for public figures and influencers to be vetted for legitimacy than ever.
Instagram announced new security features, too
But verification isn't all that Instagram announced this week. The social network announced two new Instagram security features to improve trust and security on the social network: the About This Account menu and improved two-factor authentication.
New "About This Account" menu
The About This Account feature lets you view information about Instagram accounts that have a "large reach" to verify their legitimacy. In this menu you can view the user's join date, country, ads, former usernames, and accounts with shared followers.
To access this menu, tap the ... button at the top of the profile view. Then, tap the About This Account button in the pop-out menu. This feature will roll out over the coming weeks.
At this time, Instagram hasn't defined what constitutes as "large reach", so we'll wait to see what accounts you can view this information for.
Support for third-party two-factor authentication
Instagram also announced support for third-party two-factor authentication apps like Google Authenticator. Right now the social network only supports text message authentication, so this a welcome change.
To connect your authentication app to Instagram, go to the Settings menu and tap "Two-Factor Authentication." Then, toggle the Authentication App option and follow the on-screen prompts to connect your authentication app of choice to Instagram.
Text message two-factor authentication has proven to be not-so-secure over the years, so we recommend using a third-party authentication app once the feature is live.
Here's to added security!
It's refreshing to see Instagram put trust and security first. We're hopeful that this security-first trend will continue through the rest of the market as social networks work to fight spam and abuse.
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