This article was published on January 10, 2012

Twitter opens Verified Accounts up as a service for developers and the media

Twitter opens Verified Accounts up as a service for developers and the media

Twitter has today rolled out a new program that allows third-party developers, media and content services, and consumer device manufacturers to integrate data from Verified Accounts into their apps and services.

As Jason Costa explains on the company’s developer blog, the new feature will “give music and entertainment fans the opportunity to interact with Tweets from their favorite artists, directly through the media services they use every day”. Of course, any developer can hand-pick accounts themselves to source data from, but being able to call on only Verified Accounts is potentially very useful for those that want to ensure they’re getting the legitimate updates from ‘true’ celebrities and other high-profile accounts.

Twitter is working with three partners at first: The Echo Nest (which we have already reported on), Gracenote’s new service and Rovi. The company plans to add further partners over time. These are music-based services, but it seems likely that the service would be expanded to a broader range of celebrities over time.

Verified Accounts are given to high-profile people and those who suffer impersonation problems on Twitter. There is no way for individuals to apply for such an account at the moment, with Twitter giving out the small blue checkmark to accounts such as Rupert Murdoch’s on a seemingly ad-hoc basis. Its procedure for approval of these accounts came under fire when a fake account for Murdoch’s wife was verified.

There’s no word on whether money is changing hands as part of the initial phase of the program. However, offering Verified Accounts as a source of first-hand celebrity news could be a winner for Twitter if it decides to charge for it in the future.

However, as we mentioned in our Echo Nest report earlier, if Twitter offers Verified Accounts as a trusted data source, it will need to open up a solid verification process that is both accessible and transparent, as there’s sure to be an increased demand from people and companies who wish to gain Verified status.