In an effort to root out impostors, Facebook will reportedly soon allow celebrities and other public figures to verify their accounts in much the same way that Twitter does.
The social network will begin notifying public figures with many subscribers tomorrow that they can verify their accounts by submitting an image of a government-issued ID, allowing them to display a preferred pseudonym instead of their birth name, according to a TechCrunch report. Facebook will then manually approve the "alternative names" to confirm they are the real stage names or pen names.
Facebook users must be chosen to participate in the program; there is no way to volunteer for verification. However, unlike Twitter, verified accounts will not receive a special badge indicating verified status.
Verification will allow celebrities such as Stefani Germanotta to be more readily accessible to fans when her name is officially listed as Lady Gaga instead of what's on a birth certificate. The program will also gain more prominent placement in the "People To Subscribe To" section.
The social-networking giant launched its Subscribe feature last October, allowing users to follow the public updates of other people they are not necessarily friends with. The link will only appear on public comments made by Facebook users who have allowed other users to subscribe their updates.
However, as on Twitter, the influx of impostors has become an inconvenience for both Facebook and fans alike. While the program is intended to reduce that problem, fans might be confused by the lack of any indication of account legitimacy.