YouTube reworks verification requirements, displays verified checkmark more consistently across platform

  •   September 20, 2019

YouTube’s new look for verified badges.

YouTube has updated eligibility verification requirements for creator and branded channels and has rolled out a new “look” for the program, displaying verified checkmark icons more consistently across YouTube channel pages, in search, and in comments.

Previously, YouTube extended verification to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers, regardless of the channel owner’s proof of authenticity. Under the new rules, YouTube will verify prominent channels based on their authenticity.

YouTube’s verification criteria is now as follows:

  • Authenticity: Does this channel belong to the real creator, artist, public figure or company it claims to represent?
  • Prominence: Does this channel represent a well-known or highly searched creator, artist, public figure or company? Is this channel widely recognized outside of YouTube and have a strong presence online? Is this a popular channel that has a very similar name to many other channels?

The goal of the new program is to eliminate confusion around what a verification checkmark represents: “Through our research, we found that viewers often associated the checkmark with an endorsement of content, not identity.”

Why we should care

YouTube’s new eligibility rules impact marketers managing branded channels and those tasked with evaluating influencers on the platform. For marketers in charge of their company’s YouTube presence, YouTube says channels with large audiences owned by a brand or person widely recognized outside of YouTube and have a strong presence — or have a name that can be confused with another channel on YouTube — are typically verified.

The new verification program could help marketers charged with identifying and building relationships with influencers. A verification checkmark is meant to be seen as an indicator of authenticity rather than simply a high subscriber count.

The new focus on authenticity and prominence means creators must be thoughtful of the content they are producing and their presence on — and off — the platform if they want to be verified. Inauthentic tactics aimed at driving subscriber numbers will no longer benefits a creator as YouTube will not verify a channel based solely on how many followers it has.

There is no mention of the new verification program impacting monetization for creators on the platform.

YouTube said the new verification program applies to all channels and that channel owners will not have to apply: “We will automatically apply the new verified treatment.”

More on the news

  • YouTube’s new checkmark for verified channels will replace the existing music note icon that was previously used by Official Artists on the platform.
  • Prior to the new look for verified channels, the verification checkmark never displayed on mobile channel pages, but will be added soon.
  • YouTube said channels that may have received an email that their channel will no longer be verified with the launch of the new program can submit an appeal.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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