Google wants celebrities to start using its Google+ social networking service, and is preparing to launch a verified account system akin to what Twitter already has in place to entice them to come on board. News of the search giant’s plans were first reported on CNN on Tuesday.
Part of the reasoning for Google’s so-called “celebrity acquisition plan” is pretty simple: publicity. Attracting celebs that are active on social networks–such as Ashton Kutcher or Lady Gaga, for example–will in turn likely also attract their fans as well.
Like Twitter, Google is busy creating a system that would verify accounts of celebrities. This allows for two things: The celebrity has peace of mind that information posted to those fake profiles aren’t misconstrued as being from the person him or herself, and for fans can be sure they’re following the real person.
Google hasn’t yet decided how to verify accounts. One option is to have the celebrity mail in a copy of his or her driver’s license, but it’s more likely Google would work with talent agencies to verify accounts. These agencies would file requests to verify accounts directly with Google.
They better decide soon though: Celebrities are already joining the service and, in some cases, are already being thrown off. A notable example is William Shatner: He found his account deactivated earlier this week after joining the service. Google has since reactivated his account.
It has become the 21st century version of impersonation to create fake accounts to lampoon famous individuals but, in some cases, these accounts have been used to send out fake information which then gets picked up by unsuspecting journalists and repeated as fact.
The celebrity profile plan seems a lot like Google’s plan to attract businesses to Google+. The service actually began deleting profiles saying it “wasn’t ready” to support them, but has quickly moved to prep Google+ to support this kind of use. No doubt this is due to the surprising success of the new social networking site, which already has more than 10 million users.
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