Looks like Google+ is following Twitter's lead on the whole "Verified Account" thing, letting you know for sure if you have the real Kim Kardashian in your circle or not. But, considering their stringent "real names" policy, what's the point?
The new feature gives the network's big names a "verified user" badge next to their name. But... why? It just strikes me as redundant since no one could make a fake account to begin with without being banned. And it's not even clear how a celebrity with a pseudonym would go about getting a profile with their stage/pen name.
CNN wrote last month that celebs might have to send a copy of their driver's license to get the new badges. First, it doesn't look like Robin Wauters at TechCrunch did anything of the sort to get his new cred. Second, do you really think Mark Zuckerberg or Bono is sending a copy of his ID to Google? Now, it could also be PR folks and consultants working with Google to get the perks, which is probably more likely.
But the reasoning? My only guess is that this is a grab for popularity on Google's part. A larger, more obvious celebrity presence would bring more people in. And those same celebs could make Google+ seem less like a wasteland to new users. If that's the case, then it's shrewd on Google's part. Shallow, but shrewd. [TechCrunch, CNN]