It seems like social networks are suddenly starting to realise that if people are going to put their lives on the internet, then they might want to have a proper identity.
Facebook have introduced what appear to be called “vanity URLs” to your profile. It seems a bit mean to say that having your profile accessible by something with your own name rather than a bunch of random numbers is vanity, but that seems to be the name that sticks. My profile is now accessible via: http://www.facebook.com/christine.blachford
Odd thing to note, it offers you up some choices, or you can put in your own nickname. When choosing mine it said christine.blachford or christine.blachford1? Who would choose a 1 if they didn’t have to?
Anyway, according to the stats, over 550 people a second were picking their URLs as soon as the option was available, which just goes to show this feature has long been desired.
Elsewhere, Twitter introduced Verified Accounts which is a great idea. Instead of worrying whether someone is fake or not, the Twitter accounts of the real deal show a little banner. It’s being rolled out to a selected few at the moment, and I’ve only spotted it on Dooce so far.
(Congrats on the new baby!)
I don’t know how this is going to expand, or how Twitter is checking the validity of each account, but I am very much behind this new functionality. The F1 community has a lot of “fake” accounts that are thankfully titled fakedrivername, but there are plenty of celeb accounts that are faked with no real way of knowing unless you know. A good move from Twitter.