Prominent public figures and popular brands won’t have to worry about copycat Facebook Pages for much longer. Today, the social network launched Verified Pages and profiles, designed to help people find the “authentic” accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on the platform.

Facebook previously launched a verification program in February 2012 which allowed people to verify their account with a valid ID. In a somewhat unusual decision, this method didn’t involve displaying any sort of badge or verified status, making it difficult for members to distinguish between a real account and a copycat.

Starting today, fans will now see a blue badge — similar to Twitter’s blue checkmark — next to the names of public figures and Pages with large followings. The badge will also appear in search results as well throughout the site, limiting the chances of confusing members.

Currently, Verified Pages are being rolled out to a “small group of prominent figures” with large audiences. Facebook said it’ll be available for profiles soon. However, we should note that not every profile and Page will be verified, according to documentation on Facebook’s Help Center.

It’s not clear what’s involved in Facebook’s verification process, but the company did note that you will not be able to request to have your profile or Page verified. Instead, Facebook encourages you to report fake accounts that are impersonating you, your business, or your brand.

[Image credit: Alan Levine]