On Twitter's social network, the blue checkmark is a status symbol. It's designed so that when you want to follow a high-profile account, you can be sure it is who you think it is, but it's become more than that. Having a verified account gives you perks that regular accounts don't get; for example, you can set it so that you can only see mentions from other verified accounts.
The company is about to allow users to request verification, something that it did once before, and it didn't work out too well. When Twitter launched a verification application process in mid-2016, it promised that all you'd need is a verified phone number, a confirmed email address, a bio, a profile photo, a birthday, a website, and tweets set as public in your privacy settings.
It didn't work out that way, as most users who met all of these requirements were denied verification. Once you were denied, Twitter wouldn't say why, and you'd be allowed to apply again in 30 days. The situation came to a head in November 2017 when the company verified Jason Kessler. The application process was taken down, with Twitter promising to replace it with something new, rethinking the process.
Twitter hasn't expanded on the subject since, until today, as reported by TechCrunch. This time around though, the social media company is promising that things will be different. It's going to publicly document what's required in order to be verified.
Previously, there didn't seem to be any pattern for when someone would get accepted or rejected for the verification program. Follower count didn't seem to matter, and it's entirely possible that these applications were simply being decided by real people, rather than a specific set of rules. Now, that set of rules will definitely exist, and it will be available for anyone to see.