Who Are Twitter’s Verified Users?

A deep dive into more than 100,000 of the social media giant’s top users shows that journalists and sports figures dominate the platform.

Haje Jan Kamps
13 min readMay 25, 2015


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If you spend a fair bit of time on Twitter, you can’t have failed to stumble across users who have a blue tickmark next to their names. These are the Verified Users, and you’re about to learn a lot more about them. Pour a cup of tea, strap in, and let’s go…


There are around 150k verified Twitter accounts in total, and according to Twitter, they are

Highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas.

A pretty diverse bunch, then.

Twitter currently has around 300m active users, which means that the accounts emblazoned with the coveted Verified badge is a rather exclusive club. Hell, they aren’t even the 1% — they are the 0.05%.

That’s all good and well, of course, but who are they? Well, it turns out some 25 percent of Twitter’s Verified users are actually Journalists. Almost 18 percent, the next largest group, are made up of sports figures and teams.

Let’s dig deeper.

The average Verified Twitter user

The ‘average’ verified Twitter user is a bit of a red herring because there are some extreme outliers in the list that hugely skew the results.

Katy Perry is the obvious example: with 70m followers, she’s the most-followed Verified Twitter user, and she’ll put a big whacking spanner in any statistical analysis. To show what I mean, have a look at this graph:

Number of followers per Verified Twitter User (n=111,271)



Haje Jan Kamps

Writer, startup pitch coach, enthusiastic dabbler in photography.