Facebook today introduced Verified Pages, which the company said are designed to "to help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook."
"Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences. This update is rolling out to profiles as well," Facebook said in a blog post.
Journalists Mark Bittman and Ezra Klein already have verified accounts, as does The New York Times. As of this writing, The Huffington Post and Mashable do not yet have verified accounts, despite their large social followings. President Obama's page has been verified. On the brands front, the Facebook accounts of Target and Oreo, for example, are now verified.
Facebook said verification will make it easier for users to interact with brands, since the authenticity of their pages will be made clear. The site has had some trouble with fraudulent accounts in the past. Facebook said it was working to make it more difficult for marketers to trip up consumers after a marketing company masquerading as Ikea in 2010.
Facebook said it will act soon to verify accounts that are "at the greatest risk of duplication."