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Facebook will soon begin rolling out verified accounts for high-profile members with large numbers of subscribers, and it will give verified users the option of a pseudonym for their name.

Verified accounts were first introduced on Twitter in 2009 and recently on Google+, with the purpose of letting users know they are following the real deal. Facebook copied Twitter before with its prominent News Feed feature for status updates, so this will be another moment where Facebook is implementing a feature from a rival. Facebook also recently added a new photo viewer that looks suspiciously similar to Google+’s viewer.

The new verified accounts, which were first reported on by TechCrunch, will not show any kind of badge like they do on Twitter and Google+. Instead, the service will let verified users change their names to pseudonyms or nick names, which is perfect for celebrities like Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Prince, but useless for regular folks.

“We are rolling out a minor update to our Subscribe feature,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat. “Starting today, we’ll begin testing a verification process for people with a large number of subscribers. Once verified, they’ll also have the option to more prominently display an alternate name (nickname, maiden name, byline, etc.) on their timelines in addition to their real name. This update makes it even easier for subscribers to find and keep up with journalists, celebrities and other public figures they want to connect to.”

Verified accounts will get better placement in Facebook’s “People To Subscribe To” suggestions. Facebook will send out notifications like what you see below to users who it wants to be verified. There is no manual way to ask for verification.

To become verified, people who are chosen will have to submit an image of a government-issued photo ID. Facebook claims it will delete the IDs right after verifying them.


Mark Zuckerberg photo: Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat

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