Google+ begins verifying celebrity accounts

William Shatner

William ShatnerGoogle has started verifying celebrity accounts on its Google+ social network, the company announced Monday.

Once verified, celebrities, public figures and high-profile member profiles will display a check mark next to the account holder’s name.

“We’re starting to roll out verification badges on profiles so you can be sure the person you’re adding to a circle is who they claim to be,” said Google employee Wen-Ai Yu in a recent note. “For now, we’re focused on verifying public figures, celebrities, and people who have been added to a large number of Circles, but we’re working on expanding this to more folks.”

As VentureBeat reported in July, Google has been striving to increase the number of celebrity members on the social network to help push it into a more public spotlight the way both Facebook and Twitter have done. The new verification strategy will help further that goal. Previously, celebrity accounts —  like William Shatner (pictured) — were incorrectly flagged as fakes, which might have hurt Google+’s early chances at gaining a celebrity user base.

While high-profile members will initially get the verification treatment, the company said it plans to verify the identity of all Google+ accounts. Google has even gone as far as expelling all members that use a pseudonym or nickname instead of their real, legal name — something that has sparked outrage by many users.


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