Facebook is planning to launch a verified account service with nicknames later today. The social networking site will reach out to some Facebook users who have a large number of subscribers, notifying them of a new way to verify their account. Facebook verified users will then have the option to display an alternate name and will appear more frequently in the "people to subscribe to" list. The move mirrors similar offerings from Google+ and Twitter, who both use verification systems for prominent public figures.
Facebook will verify users by requesting government-issued photo ID, if this isn't available then two alternate IDs, like a work ID, birth certificate or credit card, will be accepted. The company will manually verify the name and then permanently delete the documents. No badges or logos will be placed on a verified Facebook account, but verified users will be able to replace their real name with a nickname or simply have it placed in parentheses after the name. The service will launch today but you'll have to be invited to be identified, and that will require a big subscriber list.