Making identification easier

Published June 14, 2009

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:

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.

Dooce verified on Twitter

(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.

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