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What’s my name? Facebook to verify celebrity accounts

Facebook is set to join its social media peers in the fight against false identities by now verifying the accounts of celebrities and other public figures.

While this is a measure that Twitter and Google+ have already taken, Facebook will look to not only offer account authentication, but also allow the display of alternative names.

Popular music artists who are known by their aliases – such as Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Elton John – will also be able to display their birth names of Stefani Germanotta, Shawn Carter and Reginald Kenneth Dwight respectively.

According to TechCrunch reports, the service will be based on invitation-only and Facebook will verify users by requesting either government-issued photo ID, work ID, birth certificate or credit card.

Facebook is expected to manually verify the names in a bid to avoid mistakenly verifying fake accounts.

"Unlike Twitter or Google+’s verification programs, verified Facebook accounts won’t show any sort of badge or denotation that they’re approved, though, which could lessen the program’s ability to guide users," Josh Constine wrote for TechCrunch last week (February 15).

Verified accounts are also expected to gain more prominent placement among Facebook’s "People To Subscribe To" suggestions.

The move comes as social media users and celebrities alike are beginning to show their allegiance to a particular social media platform and Facebook begins to roll out distinguishing
features – such as the Subscribe function introduced just months ago.

"Subscribe is a huge threat to Twitter’s long-term growth because it offers an interest graph subscription solution that’s 'good enough' for the mainstream," Mr Constine added.

"I’ve heard Facebook has teams aggressively recruiting celebrities to the feature, and Verified Accounts will let it dangle the carrot of even faster-growing subscriber bases."

The only question left is: which name will Sean Combs – aka Puff Daddy aka P. Diddy aka Diddy – choose to display?

Posted by Elise Ferrari