Verified has become a coveted status in the social media sphere — but does being verified actually matter? In this article, we’ll discuss what it means to verify your YouTube account. We’ll also look at the YouTube verification badge and how to get that sought-after checkmark next to your channel name.

What does it mean to be verified on YouTube?

Getting verified on YouTube can have two possible interpretations. The first version of getting verified is easy and open to anyone. All you have to do is provide YouTube with a phone number. The platform will then send you a code, which you’ll enter a code to prove that you are a real creator — not a robot.

The second form of being verified is the verification badge. This is the little checkmark you see next to some channel names. A bit more exclusive, the verification badge is only available to channels with at least 100,000 subscribers. Usually, creators must apply to receive this designation.

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Notably, the verification badge does not award any additional features or benefits. It simply exists to identify channels as official and authentic. The goal is to prevent impersonation and viewer confusion. As YouTube states on their support page, “Verified channels don’t get extra features on YouTube. They also don’t represent awards, milestones, or endorsement from YouTube.”

How to verify your account

To verify your YouTube channel, head to youtube.com/verify. There, you’ll be asked to select your country and choose to receive your code via either a text or voice call.

YouTube will prompt you to have your phone ready. Once your phone is handy, hit ‘Confirm.’ Then enter a phone number and click ‘Submit.’

Once you have submitted your phone number, YouTube will send you your 6-digit verification code. Enter this code on the next page in step two of the account verification process.

What are the benefits?

Once your YouTube channel is verified, you’ll have several new features available. For one, you’ll be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. You’ll also be able to customize your thumbnails and conduct livestreams. Finally, and perhaps more important from a legal standpoint, you’ll be able to appeal any unjust Content ID claims against your channel.

How to get a verification badge

Different from simple account verification is the channel verification badge. This designation is available to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers that meet certain authentication requirements. YouTube won’t verify channels trying to impersonate another creator or brand.

To receive the badge, channels must be deemed authentic — representing a real creator, brand or entity — and complete. That means your channel needs a banner, description and profile picture. Sometimes, YouTube will verify a channel below the 100,000 sub threshold if the creator is well-known outside the platform. Likewise, YouTube may revoke verification if your channel violates its Community Guidelines.

Also note that if you change your channel name after you have been verified, that verification status goes away. To get the checkmark back after a name change, you’ll need to reapply.

Applying for the YouTube checkmark

Eligible creators need to apply to get the YouTube verified badge. To get started, head to YouTube’s Channel Verification Application.

On the application, you’ll just need to input your channel name and your channel ID. YouTube provides a link to help you find your channel ID if you’re unsure how to get to it.

Before you hit submit, take a moment to read about the review process. In this section, YouTube reminds applicants that channels must be authentic and complete to be approved. They also say that the review process may take several weeks.

After you click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page, the YouTube team will review your application and determine whether or not your channel qualifies for the verified status. YouTube will reply with their decision. If your channel is approved, a checkmark will appear next to your channel name.

What if you get denied?

There are ways that you can distinguish your channel, even without the verification badge. If you get denied or if you have yet to reach the 100,000 sub milestone, you can still make your channel stand out with a unique channel name. Also, try to use high-quality profile and banner images that accurately represent your content. Finally, you can customize your channel layout and branding to make it easier for viewers to find content that interests them.

The bottom line

While the verification badge requires a minimum subscriber count, verifying your account with a phone number is easy and accessible. Luckily, the verification badge isn’t needed to unlock important features and customization options. Remember, the checkmark is only there to prevent confusion and impersonation. Don’t worry if you aren’t eligible for a verification badge yet. You can still make your channel stand out with thoughtful branding and engaging content. Eventually, that coveted checkmark will be yours.