Instagram Is Introducing 'Verified Badges' For Public Figures

Rihanna mtv movie awardsChristopher Polk / GettyRihanna deactivated her Instagram account

Public figures, celebrities, and brands will soon be able to get their Instagram accounts verified like they can on Twitter or Facebook, the company announced via blog post.

These badges will start rolling out in the next few days.

Verification on Instagram makes sense. Earlier this year, after Rihanna deactivated her Instagram account, a fake profile turned up purporting to be her new one. The singer had to post on Twitter to tell its nearly 50,000 followers that it wasn’t really her.

Lena Dunham used her own Instagram account earlier this year to post that a profile of fellow “Girls” star Jemima Kirke wasn’t really her.

“In the initial rollout of verified badges we are focusing on the public figures and brands that have a likely chance of being impersonated,” an Instagram spokesperson told Business Insider.

Instagram also vowed to increase its efforts to delete spammy or fake Instagram accounts, warning users that they could see their follower numbers go down as a result.

Here’s the excerpt from the blog post:

As Instagram gets bigger, we’re focused on helping you discover photos and videos from people who you care about, whether it’s a friend or your favourite musician. Last month, we launched a People tab on the Explore page, which highlights interesting accounts to follow, and we also launched improvements to search. Yet people ask, ‘When it comes to public figures and brands, how do I know that the people I discover on Instagram are really who they say they are? How do I know that this person really is Tony Hawk?’

Today, we’re excited to announce verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for you to connect with the authentic accounts you’re looking for. These badges will start rolling out over the coming days.

Finally, as more people join, keeping Instagram authentic is critical — it’s a place where real people share real moments. We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web, and that’s why we’re finishing up some important work that began earlier this year.

We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.

Most of you won’t see any impact. If you’re one of those who will see a correction, you will receive a notification in the app directing you to additional information.

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