Facebook today announced the launch of verified pages and profiles. The new feature will make it easier for users to find official fan pages and accounts for top brands, celebrities, government officials and other public figures.
Much like verified accounts on Twitter, “Verified Pages have a small, blue check mark beside their name on timelines,” says Facebook in the blog post.
The check mark will also appear beside the individual’s name in search results, as well as anywhere else on Facebook where it appears.
The icon for a verified account is designed to make it easier for users to distinguish between official pages and impersonators. The checkmark icon will be visible on famous users’ timelines, in search results and on other locations throughout Facebook’s social network.
Just like Twitter’s verified accounts, Facebook’s verified status won’t be offered to everyone.
The Verified Pages are being rolled out to “just a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences,” Facebook points out, and will soon roll out to profiles as well.
Although users cannot request to get their page or profile verified, Facebook says they can report other pages or profiles that impersonate them.
The feature is another example of Facebook imitating Twitter in how it handles its public pages and profiles. Twitter initially introduced the concept of verified accounts back in 2009, and now Facebook is essentially imitating Twitter’s system, which also uses blue icons with white checkmarks.
Verified Facebook Pages and profiles will start rolling out Wednesday.
Facebook has a new section in its help center that describes what a verified profile or page actually is, but it doesn’t say how Facebook goes about verifying any of its users.
The checkmark icon acts as a tooltip, providing more info about verification when you hover over with a mouse cursor, and Facebook says that there’s no way for users to request to be verified; just like on Twitter, the social network will come to you if they deem it a useful step in helping you prove your identity.
Facebook has previously launched a verification program, back in February 2012, when it allowed people to verify their account with a valid ID. This was an extra step that allowed people to then use nicknames (handy for celebrities with pseudonyms) and still appear highly in search results. But that program didn’t involve any kind of public badging, which this one does, according to the Tech Crunch report.
Recently, Facebook also changed the terminology it uses to refer to users who receive updates from public pages. Facebook previously referred to those users as subscribers but now calls them followers, just as Twitter has done for years.
In addition the company appears to be preparing for another push to get celebrities on the platform by expanding its strategic partner development team to build relationships with athletes, musicians and other entertainers. Facebook is also likely to be incorporating hashtags into its service in the near future, notes Inside Facebook.