Social media veterans have long coveted having their accounts verified by Twitter, Inc. – seeking that elusive blue checkmark that adds authority to an account, but was so mysterious in its acquisition.

Until now.

Twitter announced yesterday that as of July 19 it would be opening the virtual gates, inviting users everywhere to add a blue verification to their names through an online application process.

In a July 19 statement, the San Franciso-based social media icon’s vice president of user services Tina Bhatnagar said the company wanted to make it easier for people to find creators and influencers who presently represent the majority of verified accounts.

“We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience,” Bhatnagar said in the statement.

Previously, Twitter accounts would only be verified if they had been “determined to be of public interest,” in Twitter’s words; in practice, verified accounts have been typically run by public figures and organizations in the arts, government, media, sports, business, and religious sectors, from Pope Francis to Donald Trump.

The company introduced account verification in 2009, and currently has close to 187,000 verified accounts.

On the one hand, Twitter’s new verification process will make good-natured feuds like the war of words between two northern Scotland libraries that CBC covered in April impossible, potentially depriving the world of a small percentage of wit from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling:

On the other, now anybody can command the respect afforded to the many luminaries associated with verified Twitter accounts.

Twitter’s application process began rolling out yesterday and should be available globally this week. Visit the company’s help centre to learn more.

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