Does Twitter Take Away Businesses’ Verified Badge Once They Stop Advertising?

Some very interesting speculations have cropped up this week about the way Twitter handles its hush-hush verification process.

More than one business has reported Twitter yanking their verification badge the minute they stopped paying for ads on the site.

A verified Twitter account is something of a hot commodity on Twitter. It’s part status symbol, part bragging right, and meant to show the rest of the Twitterverse that you are indeed you. It’s Twitter’s way of verifying an account’s identity.

And as much as you might be saying “Ooooh, I’d like one of those”, you’re probably out of luck. The verification process is closed to the public, and Twitter is very selective about who it bequeaths the coveted symbol upon.

According to Twitter’s Help Center, they verify accounts on a case-by-case basis according to the following criteria:

“We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas. We verify business partners from time to time and individuals at high risk of impersonation.”

And while that mostly makes sense, it’s the “business partners” mention that’s causing all the fuss this week.

An in-depth article from Digital Trends has unearthed a rather confusing policy that’s not officially mentioned by Twitter in any of its public FAQs or terms of service: sure, businesses can get verified if they’re a business partner (read: if they pay for ads), but once they stop ponying up the dough, that little blue badge goes bye-bye.

The fact that businesses actually do get verified once they start paying for ads was uncovered by AdAge, and is still not officially acknowledged by Twitter. But it’s pretty common knowledge by now for those in the industry, as businesses that hop onto the $15,000-minimum-ad-spend-over-3-months package have quickly received their little blue badge.

But even after they joined this ad program, Digital Trends noticed that their verified badge had been removed. This caused them to do a little digging, and they uncovered a strange unofficial-official policy that Twitter seems to hold towards businesses wanting to be verified.

They contacted Twitter after realizing their verified badge had gone missing, and received the following response:

“Verification is something we offer our active advertisers meeting the $5K/month minimum spend associated with our Platform Partnership…If you were to re-visit Promoted Products further down the road and were able to meet that $5K/month minimum, this verification would be reinstated.”

Apparently, Digital Trends used to spend enough on advertising on Twitter, but since they stopped, so did their verified status.

This isn’t good news for businesses looking to hop onto Twitter’s advertising program to get a nice boost in followers and their overall Twitter presence for a few months, then take a break and let things grow organically. It’s bound to be confusing for their followers if they’re verified one day (basically because they paid for it) and not verified the next – people may start to wonder if they are indeed who they say they are after the verified badge has been removed.

What do you think about Twitter’s policy to remove verified badges from businesses that don’t meet their advertising requirements? Let us know in the comments below.

(Modified Denied image via Shutterstock)