Ever since the demise of Vine, millions of young smartphone owners in their teens and twenties have been trying to discover the next social media craze designed primarily for them. Vine was a place for younger audiences to create short-form content intended for people just like them, and the popularity of that content has remained steadfast, despite the app no longer being available. Snapchat was once seen as a haven for younger audiences looking to create and communicate, but a series of poor decisions on the part of Snap—a botched redesign, the increased focus on content from established brands instead of user-generated photos and videos—have left the app’s community looking increasingly desolate. For some, Instagram has become a place to hang out, view Snapchat-esque stories and traditional photo posts, but it doesn’t have the same sort of creative energy that supplied Vine’s audience and pushed them to make some incredible short-form video.
Enter TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly. Although not quite a replacement for Vine, it is by far the closest that many have found. The general idea behind the app is simple: using a sampled piece of audio ranging from 15 seconds to a full minute long, you create a video on your phone using the two cameras on the front and the back of the device, as well as a full lineup of effects and other options within the app. The sampled audio is what separates TikTok from Vine; though TikTok initially focused entirely on lip-syncing to a song, the last two years have seen users become much more creative with the audio library available. Sound effects, quotes from stand-up and television shows, and more content has become commonplace on the app, allowing users to create new ideas and to make something new while repurposing old elements.
If you’ve spent a while on TikTok or Musical.ly before it, you probably noticed some users used to have a small crown icon on their profile, next to the circular profile image that displays their face, only for the crown to disappear a few months ago. TikTok’s crowns were relics from the days of Musical.ly, and with the crowns gone, you might be wondering: what’s next? What did the crown mean? And if the crown is gone, what replaces it? Let’s take a look at where crowns went and what they’ve been replaced with.
Where Did the Crown Go?
First things first: at the end of 2018, right as everyone was celebrating Christmas and welcoming the new year, TikTok made a significant change to their platform. Months after acquiring rival platform Musical.ly, TikTok finally replaced the crown with a brand-new verified checkmark, similar to other platforms. If TikTok is the first social network you’ve joined—and considering the app’s younger demographics, that’s entirely possible—the crown may have left you confused, leaving you without an understanding of what it’s doing on some profiles and not others.
On social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, certain users have blue check marks next to their names on profiles. Whether it’s a celebrity, a band, or a news network, these platforms will place a blue checkmark next to specific pages to prove the accounts verified and real. On Twitter, this is referred to simply as “verification”; users with a checkmark are simply referred to as verified. On Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), it’s still referred to as verification, but the blue checkmarks are called “verification badges.” All three serve the same purpose: to show users that the account you’re looking at is real and not a fan-owned page or parody.
Now that TikTok has replaced their crowns with an actual verification status, crowns no longer apply. Much like other social networks, TikTok now marks users with a standard verified mark like most other services, rather than a crown. On Musical.ly and older versions of TikTok, the crown didn’t just mean verified users but also represented influencers and popular users on the platform. This meant that, while pop stars like Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande could have their crowns, you’d also find crowns bestowed onto users who have established a brand on TikTok, video makers who demonstrate their knowledge of how to make the service work for them and work well.
What Replaced Crowns?
Instead of crowns, you’ll now find two different versions of verification on TikTok. The first is probably out of reach for you: verified user. This is the standard checkmark that we’ve seen on most other social networks, and it’s mostly reserved for celebrities to ensure they aren’t being impersonated. You’ll find this label on some accounts, but for the most famous users on TikTok, you’ll find something new entirely.
Instead of giving all accounts a verified badge, TikTok has begun giving popular users that once had crowns badges that read “Popular User.” This puts these users in a class above that of the standard TikTok-er, while also making it clear that the person isn’t a celebrity in the broader sense of the world. In this case, TikTok continues to do something different than a service like Twitter, where verified users range from celebrities to journalists to everything in between. TikTok doesn’t necessarily lower the standard of being an authenticated user; it just means that there’s now a difference between celebrities and influencers on the platform.
How Do I Get Verified in TikTok?
As we’ve said, verification on TikTok, despite switching away from crowns. Typically, these users fall into one of three categories:
- The user is immensely popular on the site, serving as a content creator that makes a big mark on TikTok’s platform in one way or another.
- The user is someone of note, including actual pop stars and musicians that happen to be on the platform.
- They have been chosen by the staff and support team at TikTok as someone who requires verification or as someone who has shown their dedication to creating content of note on the site.
That third option is probably your best bet at earning verification on your TikTok account, unless the person currently reading this is Carly Rae Jepsen, looking to get her account verified on TikTok. Chances are, however, that you aren’t a famous pop musician joining the service, and instead, you’re an average individual with a smartphone, some ideas, and raw talent ready to be used on making short-form content. And the good news, of course, is that you don’t have to be Carly Rae Jepsen to get the popular user mark on TikTok. All you need is that aforementioned talent and your smartphone.
The path to scoring verification on TikTok is pretty similar to the path to becoming popular on the site, since the two goals are nearly one and the same. To gain verification on TikTok, you’ll want to work towards achieving followers and, in turn, popularity, but that isn’t the end-all-be-all of winning that golden mark. Here are four tips to becoming verified on TikTok:
Work hard to create good content
This is the primary step, the thing you should be doing to achieve any sort of popularity and success on the site. TikTok has a large fanbase, but unlike Instagram or Twitter, it isn’t impossible to find followers and fame on the platform to become a breakout success. TikTok is young enough still that almost anyone can make their way out of the shadows to become the next TikTok hit, with videos regularly featured on the main feed within the app. All you need is some talent and a lot of hard work.
What do we mean by this? Simple: users on TikTok are always looking for new content to follow. Thanks to the average length of a TikTok video being pretty short, it’s no surprise that users are always hungry for more content. So what does that mean from you? If you’re willing to learn the basics and advanced steps of creating a TikTok video that shines among the rest, and you do this consistently for a long enough period, you’re bound to start getting noticed.
Of course, there’s always a way to speed up getting noticed, and for that, we jump to step two.
Follow users to gain more followers
We have a whole article available here for you to check out on how to gain more fans in TikTok, but the short version is this: once you have content that is not just respectable, but showcases your talents in the best way possible, you can use the app’s follow feature to get noticed by new users. We suggest making ten powerful TikTok clips, make them your best work possible, and don’t be afraid to try something new or go outside the box. Once you’ve done that, you can start using the app’s headlining page to find new users. Refresh your feed and start looking for new clips posted from famous, and possibly already-crowned TikTok users. Then, look through the comments on those videos to find accounts of people who enjoy the content posted from that user.
When you’ve found a comment posted recently, click on the account to add that profile to your followed list. When the user receives a notification that you’ve followed them, many will be inclined to check out your page, and since you have several great TikTok clips already posted on your account, you’re likely to get a follow back.
Not everyone is going to follow you back. The primary key here is not to get discouraged, and to stick with it the best you can. TikTok users are often hungry for new content and new creators. If your clips are good and you keep using this strategy to gain new followers, you’ll start receiving a following in no time.
Use the right gear—and the right songs
If you’re having problems attracting a group of followers, make sure your TikTok videos are the best they can be. Start by checking out where you’re filming. Look around your surroundings and ensure that you have a beautiful backdrop, be it outside or in your house. If you’re filming in your room, make sure to tidy things up. No one wants to watch a video that takes place within a messy bedroom. Then, to make your videos look that much better, find a way to record your videos without the need to hold your phone. It allows you the freedom of a second hand and to perform crazy actions without having to worry about where the device is at any given time. If you don’t have someone around to hold your phone, that’s okay. Instead, you might want to check out one of the many smartphone tripods available on Amazon. Most of them are universal and cost just $10 to $15 to purchase for your smartphone, like this one right here.
Likewise, you want to make sure you’re using the correct songs in your videos. You might like certain songs more than others, but if you’re looking up tracks that only feature a handful of videos, you aren’t going to end up on the main page. If you browse through the main feed inside of TikTok, you’ll probably notice a lot of repeats of songs and clips. Don’t be afraid to use those same audio clips in your videos; by using popular media, you put yourself one step forward on the way to accomplishing your goal. Likewise, you can look through the search menu to find songs that are currently popular, and can browse through the song list on the Billboard Hot 100 to get an idea of what’s popular on the radio and Spotify.
Don’t give up
Yes, this may seem obvious, but we’ve said it before: becoming successful on any social-driven site starts with you putting in the work. There may be setbacks along the way, but if you have the raw talent, you’re willing to put the time and energy into creating content, and you work hard to publicize your videos and to draw a crowd, you can do anything with some hard ward work and a focus on your goal. Being crowned means you’ve become one of the site’s top members, someone that reliably puts out incredible content with thousands of fans following your every creative mood. But to get there, you’ll need to keep pushing forward. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and setting small goals can help you accomplish everything that stands in your path.
I Found a Site Says They Can Get Me Verified. Can They?
The short answer is no. There’s no site on the web today that can gift you verification on TikTok, despite several sites listed on Google’s search results that say otherwise. The truth is that, like verification on Twitter or Instagram, only TikTok staff and support teams can grant a crown to a profile they deem worthy or necessary to prevent fake listings.
The longer explanation is somewhat of a warning. Those sites and apps that market crowns, or tell you that you can get free crowns by just using their system to gain access to brand new likes and followers almost always ask for your login information, pushing users on TikTok to hand over their email and password in exchange for a crown. If you do give your account information to one of these fake services, a lot can go wrong. At best, it could be considered a violation of the TikTok terms of service, thus pushing your account to be canceled or closed by TikTok, shutting down your collection of videos and making you lose access to anything you haven’t manually backed up.
At worst, the person, site, or service receiving your login information could log into your account on your behalf, changing the password and holding your account hostage until you pay to receive it back. If you use the same password for content like your email for personal use, school, or work, you’re looking at a potential loss of private information. Even if the password for your TikTok account is different than the one you use for other sites, most TikTok users have some form of social media plugged into their account, which can lead to future problems down the road when the individual who has gained access to your login info begins to post content from your page.
Likewise, any TikTok account that asks for follows in exchange for verification in the bio of the profile are automatically flagged within TikTok’s system, according to TikTok’s support site. This means that marketing an account as a way to get natural followers will get you automatically shut down by the bots that check TikTok accounts for spam and harassment. Obvious, every possibility here has a poor outcome, so no matter how tempting it may seem, you should, under no circumstances, use a site or application that promises automatic crowns for your account.
It can be rough to see other users with verification on their mind, especially if you’re starting on TikTok and looking to make an impact. Getting started on any social media app with public posts, be it Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, can feel like a long uphill battle if what you’re looking for is a sense of accomplishment in the followers and attention you’ve found. Verification allows TikTok to highlight some of its best content creators on the platform, with most of these users uploading at least once a day and often being featured on the front page of the platform. It can feel tough, or even embarrassing, to start at the bottom of the platform.
But everyone has to start somewhere, and thanks to the way TikTok awards users, you too can begin climbing towards your goal of reaching a certain amount of followers, likes, and views. Achieving the purpose of receiving a verified account on TikTok is by no means impossible, and though some apps and sites may claim to have shortcuts, all of them have some level of hoax involved, and most of them should be considered dangerous to your account. At the end of the day, the key to being successful in TikTok is to try your best, learn some tricks, and above all else, keep your head up. TikTok has become far more accessible and successful than Musical.ly before it, and with a growing audience of millions of users, you’ll want to stay sharp to keep your content fresh.