Gmail will start displaying a familiar-looking blue checkmark next to a sender’s name to verify their identity. In a blog post, Google says the feature is supposed to help users figure out whether the email they’ve received is from a legitimate source or a scammer.
The verified checkmark builds upon Gmail’s existing Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) feature. This requires companies to authenticate that the brand logo they’re using as their email avatar is supposed to let users know that the logo actually belongs to them. Companies that have already adopted BIMI will automatically receive the checkmark.
As shown in the image provided by Google, hovering over the checkmark says that “the sender of this email has verified” that they own the domain and profile image that they’re using to send the email. Google notes that email authentication can help both users and security systems “identify and stop spam” while also allowing senders to “leverage their brand trust.”
Twitter’s verification mess has grabbed headlines recently, but everyone from Tinder to Pinterest to YouTube has some version of the icon, and recently, Meta started a test selling verification for Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Google’s addition of a more visible checkmark might help users quickly identify legitimate senders, especially if they don’t know what a BIMI-approved logo included in an email even means or if it’s legit. It tracks with Google’s recent change to replace the lock icon that appears in Chrome’s address bar with a “tuner” icon, indicating that a website is using the safer HTTPS protocol but, hopefully, not causing visitors to assume it must be a legitimate site.
Gmail is rolling out verified checkmarks starting today across both Workspace accounts and personal Google accounts, so you might start seeing blue checkmarks invading your emails very soon.