Before any official press release from the White House, Twitter users knew that President Barack Obama started @POTUS thanks to the little blue checkmark beside his handle. In a little under six hours, the Twitter verified account became the fastest to reach a million followers.
Did being President Obama's official account help its velocity? Most likely yes. Did having Twitter's official seal of approval aid a bit? Probably not when it came to adding followers, said Joe McCaffrey, head of social marketing at Brooklyn-based digital agency Huge. However, he pointed out that for companies, the blue checkmark does come with marketing perks.
"It's a symbol in terms of clout," he said.
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Twitter's elusive verification badge is something that has to be granted to you from the powers that be at the company and cannot be requested by the public. According to the social media platform, It doesn't take into account how many followers you have or what you tweet about. Instead it grants the honor to users who tweet about popular topics such as music, acting, journalism or politics. Once bestowed, it signifies that the sentiments expressed are from the user. CNBC reported earlier this year that Twitter may allow users in the future to pay a small fee to get the verification badge, but that has yet to happen.
"Part of the power behind it is users can't submit," McCaffrey said.