Google+ has begun verifying the accounts of high-profile users and publicly flagging them as such next to the users' names, the company announced today.
Google+ has begun verifying the accounts of high-profile users and publicly flagging them as such next to the users' names, the company announced today. Now when users visit the page of a celebrity or public figure, there will be checkmark next to the name once it has been verified, and Google hopes to extend the program to many more users.
Google has made waves recently with its policy regarding fake accounts. The company insists that every Google+ profile must bear the real name of the same person operating the account, an approach that Facebook expressed public support for recently. The verifications will only appear on the profiles of public figures, celebrities, and "people who have been added to a large number of circles," said Wen-Ai Yu, a member of the Google+ team, in an introduction video. But that's just for now, Yu says—"We're working on expanding this to more people in the future."
For those of you trying to figure out whether that's really Lindsay Lohan's Google+ page, the checkmark that appears next to a verified account will roll out the text "verified name" when moused over. Google did not respond immediately to requests for comment on how it verifies profiles, or what the current minimum number of circles is for a profile to require verification.
Still, Google's wording in the introduction suggests a future where users can request account verification for personal reasons, unlike Twitter. The future of the program could also be more sinister: a Google+ where all users must be prepared to back up their identities with some kind of proof, or else cede the service as a social networking ground.