Facebook will begin verifying the accounts of celebrities and other public figures but not the likes of you and me. The reason for doing this is that this is hoped to reduce the number of Facebook impostors so you can all follow the real Lady Gaga. Facebook has followed in Twitter’s and Google’s footsteps here, however that are some notable differences – one being you will not see a little badge which shows that the account has been verified.
How does this account verification work? Facebook will verify a Facebook account of a celebrity/public figure based on a submitted image of a government-issued photo ID. Two forms of alternate IDs i.e. photo and address verification being two suitable forms, but one suspects that credit cards and birth certificates may also be used. Once the account has been verified the IDs will deleted by Facebook and the user will be able to enter an “alternative name” or nickname that will displayed next to the users real name on their Facebook account. It can also be displayed in lieu of their real name. The verification process will be done manually by Facebook.
There is of course a business reason for doing this (outside of appeasing the privacy advocates) and that is this will allow these verified accounts to have a more prominent place in “People to Subscribe To” lists. I’m sure in time this may well be offered to celebrities and public figures as a premium service or as a premium ad platform for third-party advertisers. I will be watching this development closely.
Safe surfing folks!