Google+ may have been inspired by Facebook, but the giant social network has been returning the favor for many months now. It's doing it again with the introduction of verified accounts and the possibility of adding a pseudonym for those accounts.
Google very recently relented on the use of real names
and started allowing people to use pseudonyms, through a rather convoluted process. It ended a long battle over what identity means online.
Ironically, it was Google+ that took the brunt of the criticisms, despite Facebook doing the exact same thing and having done it since it launched, eight years ago.
that Facebook is in the midst of rolling out the new features. Facebook users with a significant number of subscribers may be asked if they want to verify their accounts.
They'll have to provide a copy of some form of official ID to prove they are who they say they are. After they've been verified, they can add a pseudonym for their profiles which can be displayed alongside their name or even completely replace them.
Of course, all of this is for regular Facebook accounts, not Facebook pages. It's designed to enable people using their personal accounts to connect with fans and audiences via the subscribe feature.
The subscribe option was recently introduced as well, following Google+'s success with circles, which offers asymmetric friending, similar to Twitter's. Facebook did not allow this for regular accounts, only pages.
Still, plenty of small companies, artists and so on used regular personal Facebook accounts, either because they didn't know about pages or because they started using them and didn't want to start a new page which could mean losing their followers (friends).
With the subscribe option, they can continue to use regular Facebook profiles to connect with larger audiences and they don't have to friend everyone back. Pseudonyms and verified accounts are one step further towards legitimizing this use of Facebook profiles instead of pages.