Today, Facebook has announced that it is launching Verified Pages for its celebrity accounts and high-profile business pages. The blue check mark appears in search results and also next to the name of the page.
Facebook has verified pages and profiles to help you be sure that the pages are who they claim to be.
Facebook blogged that its Verified Pages belong to ‘a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences’.
Facebook has thousands of fake pages. When Amy’s Baking Company crashed and burned on Facebook the other week, several fake pages were created. Femfresh had to suspend its Facebook page as fake pages proliferated after its marketing campaign backfired.
Although Facebook has said that this is for people and brands with large audiences it has not been consistent in its allocation of the coveted blue check mark. The selection process seems highly subjective and skewed towards the local US audience for brand pages and celebrities.
Guns N’ Roses, with almost 22 million likes does not have a blue check mark, but Ashton Kutcher with under 15 million likes does have a verified account. The Beatles Page has almost 34 million likes -- but no check mark. Michael Bublé with 6 million likes has a verified Page.
A quick scan through Facebook shows that bands that appeal to Generation Y such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Adele and Justin Bieber, get the check mark, but older musical icons such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Who are not yet verified.
Celebrities that are not known in the US such as South Korean band Girl’s Generation which has over 4 million likes do not have verification but US celebrity Rob Dyrdek does.
Tech brands such as IBM, Blackberry, Microsoft and Dell fail to get the check mark. However, HP (with less than half the likes of Dell's Page) Bing and Google all have verified Pages.
Brands and celebrities can not request to have their page verified by Facebook. Facebook decides whether the page is authentic or not.
This is in line with Twitter which has stopped users requesting profile verification. In the past users could request verification when their account reached 10,000 followers.
The challenge for both Twitter and Facebook is authenticity. Both companies have taken steps to stamp out the deluge of companies offering to increase the amount of followers on a page within 24 hours, using scripts to increase likes or add Twitter followers.
But for authentic, local celebrities with a huge local following, it might seem that Facebook, whilst purporting to be a company with a truly global reach, still seems to think locally.