Google+ now has verified badges for celebrities, network power users who have loads of followers and other public figures. Do you have a verified badge yet?
The use, or lack thereof, of common names on Google+ isn't
the only identity crisis the social network faces. There's also the issue of
verifying whether Google+ profiles have really been created by celebrities or
are simply forgeries from people hoping for a laugh.
To solve this issue, Google has started rolling out
verification badges for profiles so that users are certain they're adding the
or some other celebrity to their Google+ Circles.
"When you visit the profile of a celebrity or public
figure, you'll see a verification badge next to their profile name,"
explained Google+ software engineer Wen-Ai Yu Aug. 19
. Mousing over the gray
checkmark reveals a badge that identifies the user as a verified name.
"This will help you easily determine which profiles
are owned by real, verified people," Yu added.
Google is focusing on confirming the accounts of public
figures and celebrities, as well as people who have been added to a large
number of Circles.
For example, Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan
, a renowned search expert who also
happens to have been added to nearly 34,000 Google+ Circles, now has a verified badge
Yu said Google will expand this feature to less famous
people. This is a good thing, especially if the company can do this for all of
the verified Google+ users. In fact, Google should strongly consider letting
members choose to verify their profiles this way, and anyone else can keep a
This would allow people to separate the so-called common,
or legal, real name users with those who wish to have a voice on the network but
keep their identity close to the vest. Currently, Google gives Google+ pseudonym users four days
their common name before suspending those users' accounts.
Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd is among the many pundits
to publicly criticize Google
for its hard
line versus pseudonym users on Google+.
Former Google social software engineer Kevin Marks also called out
his former employer in a blog post Aug. 20.