Verification badges will appear beside the name of a Verified Page in timeline, when hovering over the name of a Page, in searches, in stories about users liking a Page, in “Pages You May Like” suggestions and in news feed ads for Pages.
The launch comes just weeks after a number of brands expressed their concern about how the forthcoming rollout of Facebook’s new search feature – Graph Search – would affect their visibility in listings, considering there are many copycat Pages on the platform.
Jack Daniels’ global community manager Cordell Lawrence voiced his concern about this issue at this year’s Social Media World Forum London, saying his company was “constantly bugging” Facebook to ensure unofficial pages do not show up more prominently in search results than its own.
The auto-rollout of Verified Pages and Profiles – which Facebook says indicates it is the “authentic voice of the business” – also comes just a day after the social network was forced to change the way it combats “hate speech” on the site after a prolonged campaign from womens’ activist groups which led to some brands pulling ads from the platform.
Part of Facebook’s new five-point programme to tackle hate speech is to increase the accountability of the creators of content that is “cruel or insensitive” by requiring their authentic identity to be linked to that content.
A Facebook spokeswoman, however, says the launch of Verified Pages and Profiles “has been in the pipeline for a while” and was not linked to the hate speech programme or specific marketer concerns around Graph Search.
Facebook will automatically verify Pages and Profiles that are “at the greatest risk of duplication” in the coming days.