Lady Gaga and Carrothead rejoice: with a tweak of its ‘real name’ policy, Facebook will allow high profile members to verify their account and begin using nicknames or pseduonym to identify themselves. The company says the new feature will allow celebrities and other Facebook VIPs to get higher billing on Facebook and attract more followers.
In a tweak of its ‘real name’ policy, Facebook will allow high profile members to verify their account and begin using nicknames to identify themselves. The company says the new feature will allow celebrities and other Facebook VIPs to get higher billing on Facebook and attract more followers, the Web site TechCrunch reported Wednesday.
The new verification feature is similar to those that are already in place at Facebook’s two main rivals: Twitter and Google’s G+ service. The feature will build on existing account verification features, mostly used to recover hijacked or locked accounts, and support Facebook’s ‘Twitter killer’ – the new Subscription feature that allows non-friends to subscribe to the news feed of other users.
Like many large, social networks, Facebook maintains a “real name” policy for its users: strongly encouraging them to match their online profile to their real identity, and forbidding certain kinds of names or characters when creating profiles. However, the site – which recently filed for an initial public offering – also wants to attract legions of celebrities, performers and other online scene makers who may use stage names or pseudonyms. The new feature is designed to cater to those users, while not abandoning its core “real name” policy.
Of course, Facebook isn’t alone. Other networks have incurred the ire of users for taking a hard stand against Internet anonymity. In particular, Google’s G+ service irritated many users when it unexpectedly suspended the accounts of users it believed were using fake profile names, or violating Google’s real name policy.
Companies are already wrestling with the security headaches introduced by rampant use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks within the workplace. At the very least, the new policy will reduce the likelihood of scammers creating profiles using the names of sought-after personalities.