Wayne State Web Team

Wayne State University Web Team Blog

In a verified Twitter account we trust

Recently I posted a look back at five years of @waynestate on Twitter (opens new window). After that post something important happened, Twitter verified our account (opens new window). Verified accounts are denoted by a blue checkbox which is displayed after our account name. This is exciting for us because it shows a stamp of approval by the Twitter community.

# What is Twitter Verified?

Verification is currently used to establish authenticity of identities on Twitter. The verified badge helps users discover high-quality sources of information and trust that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s Tweets. ~ Twitter Verified Accounts (opens new window)

# Why is verification important to Wayne State?

Verification is important to us for a few reasons.

  • Numerous imposter accounts have crept up in the past and these accounts threaten the reputation of the university.
  • It shows that the university has a commitment and resources behind our account.
  • If an outsider interacts with our account they can rest assure they are getting an answer that is official.
  • It puts in the ranks with a select few (currently under 37,000 verified accounts out of ~140,000,000 total Twitter users).

# We now have "two timelines"

Twitter recognizes that a lot of the accounts reply to a lot of people. We happen to fit in to that category with over 55% of our tweets being replies. Someone coming to our account for the first time is going to see a lot of replies without a lot of context, that isn't helpful. To fix this we now have a "No replies" timeline that shows only our public tweets that reach all our followers. If a user wants to see all our tweets, they can simply click the "All" link.

# But what about all of our other accounts that are not verified?

Since most accounts across Twitter are not verified the status is not a stamp of approval, but instead an extra stamp to ensure authenticity. The 100+ accounts (that we know of around campus) will still continue to grow in followers at the same rate as they do now. Because verification is limited to certain situations, you can be assured non-verified accounts are not looked down upon.

As a department we follow all of the accounts across campus and retweet, reply and promote them as we see positive social activity. Hopefully the verified status on our account will increase the following of the accounts we interact with, especially the university accounts.

If you're a department who is interested in using social media, Twitter, or beyond, to represent and speak on behalf of the university, please fill out our Social Media Questionnaire (opens new window). We will follow up with the next steps for training and what is required to successfully represent the university online.