Facebook launches verified accounts
In mid-2012, it was widely reported that, of its 1 billion users, 83 million or 8.7% of Facebook profiles were fake accounts. By May of 2013, it was reported that this number had increased to over 100 million, equivalent to over 10% of all accounts. Ranging from spam accounts to hackers and false profiles, Facebook named the major purposes of these profiles as “duplicate profiles”, “user-misclassified” and “undesirable”.
As a result, the social media giant has added a Verified Pages feature on high-profile accounts for celebrities and businesses. Pages are verified authentic only by Facebook, and while currently not available by request of small brands or businesses, it is another recent addition to the site following its clickable hashtags instalment.
It is worth noting this new addition is likely due to the verified status that has been available on the Facebook’s greatest competitor, Twitter, who has had the feature active since 2009. However, with reports often surfacing about the high number of fake accounts on Facebook, in conjunction with Twitter’s rising global status, the addition has become more imperative than ever.
Although not yet widely available, it is expected that Facebook will implement a feature whereby brands may request to have their page verified, resulting in less confusion amongst other pages and more positive page interaction business to consumer communication. In addition, it will decrease spam messages posted on a brand’s Facebook page in the hope to keep followers active on the page.