It appears as if Facebook has taken a leaf out of Twitter’s notebook of success with the addition of a brand new ‘verified pages’ feature, which is designed to give those high-profile accounts an added level of authenticity. Facebook’s inspiration has gone all the way down to the small, blue checkmark that appears next to the profile name. This mark will appear on the pages themselves, as well as in search results and throughout the website as a whole.
To help its users navigate the new feature, Facebook has added a new section to their help centre that provides information on what a verified profile or page actually is – but it is severely lacking in information on how Facebook verifies that any of its users are actually legitimate. In February 2012, they did launch another verification program that allowed users to verify their accounts using a valid ID; it allowed people to use nicknames.
At the moment, ‘verified pages’ is only being presented to a small group of public figures who have been deemed prominent with large audiences – such as celebrities, journalists, government officials and popular brands. The team at Facebook also say that there is currently no way for users to request to be verified – the social network will approach you if they feel that it is appropriate for you to confirm your identity.
It seems that Facebook are trying to market themselves as a broadcasting channel for media, journalists and celebrities. This new ‘verified pages’ feature, coupled with the subscription one it launched last year, is just proof that they are trying to encourage users to use the social network in the search for news and information on top of using it to connect with people that they know. Only time will tell on whether they are successful in this aim or not.
‘Verified pages’ has already been made live, so why not try searching for some of your favourite Australian celebrities on Facebook to see if you can spot the small, blue checkmark?