Ah, to be verified on Twitter. Everyone wants the recognition, but only a few are so privileged.
Verified Accounts were introduced to the social media service when former Major League Baseball manager Tony La Russa was impersonated in 2009 to help identify and authenticate key individuals and brands on the platform.
With thousands of fake and parody accounts, seeing a deluge of lawsuits from unhappy celebrities was a real possibility. The blue check mark (or badge) of verification—featured prominently on users' profiles—was created to help avoid that problem.
The digital world has never been the same.
Twitter has awarded the seal to more than 54,000 accounts. That means more than 230 million of monthly active users are not verified—a fact that causes many people to sleep uneasily.
"I think it's gone to some people's heads," says Matthew Knell, vice president of social media and community strategy at About.com. "It really depends on the person. Some people just genuinely don't want to be spoofed."
Knell, who has yet to be verified, says having the special status would appeal to his ego but that he's focused more on sharing valuable content rather than on being considered "an influencer or an icon."
Do verified users enjoy perks that unverified ones don't?
Based on a review by CNBC.com, being verified on Twitter carries at least six real benefits, including a weekly email detailing the robustness of your account; the ability to hide conversations on your profile page; and verification on Vine, Twitter's video-sharing application.