While Twitter seems intent on undermining the integrity of the blue checkmark as an indicator of trust, Google’s implementing its own blue checkmark system, with Gmail users now set to see new blue ticks appearing next to approved brand profiles in their inbox.
As per Google:
“In 2021, we introduced Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) in Gmail, a feature that requires senders to use strong authentication and verify their brand logo in order to display a brand logo as an avatar in emails. Building upon that feature, users will now see a checkmark icon for senders that have adopted BIMI. This will help users identify messages from legitimate senders versus impersonators.”
So businesses that have adopted Google’s brand verification process, which requires registration of your logo with a VMC, and a higher level of account security, will now get a blue checkmark on Gmail, providing additional assurance for recipients that you are who you claim.
Which is a good update, especially considering the amount of email spam that’s circulating these days. But again, I do wonder whether Twitter’s decision to sell blue checkmarks will degrade trust in this as an indicator, to some degree.
Meta is also now selling blue ticks, and the more that people are able to simply buy these indicators, the less it represents verified, confirmed identity, as such. That could reduce its effectiveness overall – but still, with actual verification in place, maybe that won’t have a big impact on user perception, which will ensure this remains a valid indicator.
For brands, it’ll be worth implementing this, if possible, to separate yourself from email spammers and scammers.
Google says that the new Gmail checkmarks are available to all Google Workspace customers, including personal Google Accounts, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.
It could be worth exploring. The new checkmarks will be rolling out to Gmail inboxes from today.
You can learn more about the checkmarks, and how to apply, here.