Facebook Verification - What is it, and why do we need it?

Facebook Verification - What is it, and why do we need it?

Facebook adds Page and Profile Verification

One of the most common issues plaguing social networks is that anyone can create an account and use whatever name they wish. I say that I'm a famous celebrity, grab their image from Google Images, and begin posting updates as that individual. Now, the more famous the celebrity, the less likely you might be to believe that I am that person, but for less famous people, it's easier than you might think. And for normal people, it's an issue of potential identify theft.

Companies, too, have been at risk. In fact it's common to recommend that a business owner stake their claim on their profile on every possible social network, and there are even services set up to help you do that, just to ensure that someone else, like a competitor or disgruntled employee, doesn't take your "name" first.

That's why networks like Twitter and Pinterest and Google+ have put verification measures in place to help ptorect people and businesses, and help users know that they're engaging the person or company that they think they are.

Facebook Adds Profile and Pages Verification

Facebook has now announced that they, too, are adding verification. However, they've given no specifics as to how a particular account is going to be verified. Apparently, they're handling it all themselves. Major Brands and celebrities will simply wait and Facebook will automatically verify their Page or Profile for them.

For smaller businesses and individuals, it's unclear when, if ever, their profiles will be verified. Facebook does state that if you find someone else using your name, you can report them as a Fake Account.

On other social networks like Google+, any business can verify their account by authenticating the URL for the business placed on the Google+ Page. It's a fairly painless process, so one wonders why Facebook didn't follow suit. Not only does this Verification favor Big Brands, it also seems to create far more work for Facebook than needed.

Impact of Verification

It's still too early to tell how valuable verification is to businesses, but studies done in the past by companies like Verisign, particularly where eCommerce is concerned, have indicated that trust becomes an issue, and any means that a business can use to help establish trust will have a positive impact on sales. If verifying the authenticity of my Facebook Page will help engender trust in that Page and by extension my brand, that's definitely something I will want to implement.

If Facebook's policy changes and a means for verifying your own Page or Profile becomes available, I will certainly share it and the requisite steps here.

What do you think? Does Verification matter to you on social media?


Mike is a Social Media Consultant and Blog Coach in St. Louis. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's. He is active on all of the major social networks and enjoys writing and teaching small business owners on how to leverage the Internet to promote and grow their business. Mike provides training and seminars to businesses and individuals on topics like "Content Marketing - Using Blogging + Social Media + SEO to equal Small Business Success" or "Establishing a Brand on Google+" or "How to use HootSuite to Manage Your Social Media Presence."

Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management."

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