This is why I like the fact that the social networking industry is so competitive (or any other industry for that matter)- It makes all the big players to constantly renew, innovate and improve their product where the users are main beneficiaries (well, most of the time).
Google+ and Facebook really live up to this concept. After Google’s social network presented bunch of updates recently, it is now Facebook’s turn to introduce major improvements: The social network giant has been reported to launch verified user accounts program and the Timeline profile for brands very soon.
Verified Users, Nicknames and Pseudonyms
Verifying real identities was already existed for a long time in Twitter and even Google+ had its own program almost since its launch. According to a new report from TechCrunch, from today Facebook will also begin verifying identities and once users have been verified they could change their real name into their desired nickname or pseudonym.
However unlike Twitter and Google+, there won’t be any markup next to the user’s name indicating that it is a verified account, which obviously significantly subtract from the whole point of the program. Verified accounts will receive more prominent spots in the subscribe suggestions feature that appears from time to time on the sidebar.
Today, Facebook will begin contacting users with many subscribers and let them know they have the possibility to verify their identity. note that Facebook alone decides which accounts should be verified and there’s no option for users to do it by their own opinion. Here’s the account verification form as published by TechCrunch:
As we can understand from the form, verifying an account is possible with one government-issued ID or two alternate IDs. Verified users can choose to have a nickname or pseudonym next to their name or replace it completely (the real name will appear only in the user’s “About” section).
The comparison to Google+ is unavoidable- Just three weeks ago Google+ began allowing nicknames and pseudonyms and therefore the roll out date of Facebook’s user verification program doesn’t seem to be coincidental.
Timeline Profile To Brand Pages
In mid-December 2011, Facebook released its Timeline profile for all its users. Yesterday, AdAge has reported that soon the Timeline will also arrive to brand pages. The report is indicating that the company will officially announced it at Facebook Marketer Conference on February 29th.
The initial Timeline roll out to brand pages will begin for “handful of partners” during this month and will expand to more brands later on. It is pretty safe to assume that Facebook will encourage brands to use extensively the new Timeline apps which presented last month and to develop their own.
It goes without saying that Facebook declined to respond to this report (and probably never will).