Image: Domain Barnyard/Flickr.
Ever keen to tinker with its winning format—to the eternal chagrin of its 800 million users—Facebook is once again changing how things work on the world’s leading social network.
This time, as opposed to introducing a contentious aesthetic revamp as it did with Timeline, Facebook has finally shifted its stance on insisting account holders use their real names.
The adjustment, which is designed to appease its more ‘high profile’ members, will see Facebook adopting a ‘Verified Accounts’ feature for public figures, thereby enabling them to display a nickname rather than their real name, if they so wish.
For example, this will permit the likes of music stars ‘Stefani Germanotta’ and ‘Calvin Broadus’ to drop their birth names in favor of ‘Lady Gaga’ and ‘Snoop Dogg’, or to add their pop personas after their actual names.
In order to begin the verification process, account holders will simply need to send Facebook a copy of a government-issued photographic ID.
The only caveat connected to the feature is that any celebrity or public figure opting to display a stage name or other pseudonym will be required to include their given name in the ‘About’ page of their Facebook profile.
Although verified accounts won’t include an official badge or ‘check mark’ in the same way as those on Twitter, they will provide focused exposure by showing up more frequently via Facebook’s subscription suggestions.
Verified Accounts on Facebook is currently an invitation-only feature, but will be rolled out across the whole network in the near future.