Report: Google+ is courting celebrities

Report: Google+ is courting celebrities

Summary: Reports are circulating that Google+ is preparing a "celebrity acquisition plan" that would bring major media figures into the social network.


Can a social network succeed without the darlings of Hollywood posting about their breakfasts? Reports are circulating that Google+ is preparing a "celebrity acquisition plan" that would bring major media figures into the fledgling social network.

Much like how Twitter provides the prized "Verified Account" badges for high-profile accounts, Google+ is planning a system that would confirm the identities of celebrity profiles and eliminate the chance that fans are following a ringer. In other words, Google+ wants to entice celebrities to join up by ensuring them that their personal brand will be protected and promoted.

How will the verification work? Well, CNN, which broke the story by reviewing internal Google e-mails, says it may come down to something as silly as having celebs fax over copies of driver's licenses or passports. But more likely, a pre-vetted list of Hollywood talent agents would be given leave to confirm client identities.

A Google spokeswoman declined CNN's e-mailed request for comment, saying only:

"We aren't yet sharing any details on future plans around Google+. We plan to add a lot of features and functionality to Google+ over time."

From where I'm standing, I doubt CNN is too far off the mark. I know plenty of people who joined Twitter in the first place because of some artist or writer or musician, and verified celebrity accounts like Kanye West's have followers in the multiple millions.

Moreover, the upcoming Google+ business profiles test run will provide companies with a similar guaranteed-real stamp of approval, so extending that verification to high-visibility individuals seems natural.

It's no wonder that Google+ wants some of that word-of-mouth power - 10 million users is really good for a 3-week-old social network, but it's clear that the search giant is looking to keep that momentum going.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Google

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  • Celebrity sausage is what they're after

    The nerdy beta factor in Google+ is very high and this warrants the alpha male support. The few women on Google+ would also appreciate some more masculine content.
  • Message has been deleted.

  • Who?

    Why celebs?

    I only know a couple of celebs, to talk to, and I don't follow them on Twitter anyway. For Facebook and Google+, why would I want to put them into my friend lists?

    I deleted my Facebook account over a year ago, but I never "friended" any celebrities (or corporations for that matter). I friended family, a few close friends and a few work colleagues. I would never dream of "friending" somebody I didn't know.

    I just don't understand this obsession with celebrity.
  • Zuckerberg's take on Google

    Tom from MySpace just tweeted this viral video about Mark Zuckerberg's reaction to Google+
  • Then why did they ban William Shatner?

    Seems counterintuitive. Banning Captain Kirk from a platform where 99.99% of the people on the forum want to be Captain Kirk.
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: Report: Google is courting celebrities

    I have had invites and still cannot join.
    So too bad for them.
    Been using Google for many years and have a Gmail account although I don't use it.
  • RE: Report: Google is courting celebrities

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  • RE: Report: Google is courting celebrities

    Umm ... wait! Ninety percent of the entertainment industry uses professional pseudonyms. Imagine G+ inviting the likes of Tom Cruise, Alan Alda and Whoopi Goldberg, then having to ban them for violating the Real Names Policy. After all, their real names are Thomas Mapother, Alphonso d'Abruzzo and Caryn Johnson.

    Or is G+ a place where some are more equal than others? Where most of us have to play by the rules while Important People get special passes?