On some level, social media analytics and stats can be viewed partly as vanity metrics. It just feels good when you hit major milestones, like when you get 1,000 followers on Instagram or 10,000 followers on Twitter. But these milestones don’t really mean that much of a different from a practical standpoint, because there is no measurable benefit from having 1,000 followers compared to having 999… other than the psychological, of course.
And while there are no explicit, quantitative requirements to get verified on Twitter or on Instagram, for example, there are specific numerical requirements on other social media platforms to unlock certain privileges and features. Here are some of the big ones you should have on your radar.
So, you want to get verified? Getting the gray verification badge or the blue verification badge on Facebook has a number of requirements, but none of them have to do (at least directly) with the number of likes and follows that you have. You could theoretically apply for those badges very shortly after starting your Facebook page.
The bar may be set relatively low, but you do need to have at least 25 likes on your Facebook page to claim a vanity URL. This way, you can direct people to facebook.com/yourbusinessname as a simpler and better branded URL. Of course, you could always do yourname.com/facebook as a 301 redirect too, but having a vanity URL on the Facebook.com domain is still very important.
In addition to the vanity URL, Facebook also allows you to create your own milestones and share them with your fans and followers. Celebratory badges sometimes pop up when you reach certain milestones too, like when you get to 1,000 likes on your page.
A great part of the appeal of Instagram is also one of its greatest sources of frustration for many online influencers. Unlike most other platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, you generally cannot share links directly within Instagram as a regular user. You can pay for ads, of course, but that’s not really the same thing. You can put the URL in your caption, but it’s not actually clickable. That’s why most people end up going with the “link in bio” approach.
However, you’ll notice that some Instagram accounts have a “swipe up” feature in Instagram Stories where they can drop a specific outbound link. Regular users can only “swipe up” for one of their IGTV videos. In order to unlock this “swipe up” function, you need to have 10,000 followers on Instagram.
There are some workarounds you can use, but that’s the benchmark for the official feature.
As mentioned above, you need to have 25 likes on your Facebook page before you can get a vanity URL for that page. On YouTube, the number is just a tad higher, but well within reach for even a modest beginner. You need to have 100 subscribers to get a custom YouTube channel URL, which would otherwise be called a vanity URL. Before you reach that level, the URL to your YouTube channel will look like a nonsensical string of letters and numbers.
The more challenging benchmark to reach is if you want to enter YouTube Partner Program for monetizing your videos with AdSense. The threshold used to be much lower and allowed many smaller YouTubers to eke out a little bit of earnings, but that changed at the beginning of 2018. Now, you need to have 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months (that works out to 240,000 minutes if you didn’t want to do the math) and 1,000 subscribers.
Put another way, in addition to the 1,000 subscribers, you need an average of 20,000 watch minutes each month. How you translate those minutes into views (or rather vice versa) will depend largely on your content and your audience. You can’t expect every person to watch all the way through your 20-minute vlog.
And yes, there are certainly many alternatives to AdSense to consider, but if you want to get in the YouTube Partner Program, those are the numbers you need to meet.