Facebook on Thursday started allowing users to verify their accounts with the option of using nicknames, The Verge reports:

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.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Actions is really taking off. VentureBeat.com reports:

In the wake of Facebook’s implementation of Actions, a new way for apps to get their data into your Timeline, many apps are seeing staggering new growth stats.

Already-popular traffic hounds such as Pinterest, Fab.com, Foodspotting, Pose, and several others are reporting increases in new visitors, new signups, and the time each user spends on the site, all in direct relation to their Facebook Actions.

As a brief refresher, Actions allow apps to publish more detailed information to your Facebook Timeline. Instead of showing that you “Liked” a page or commented on activity, your Timeline might show that you listened to a song, tried a new restaurant dish, or bought an article of clothing. These actions give your friends (and big brands and advertisers) a much more accurate picture of your interests, the things you have, the things you want, and the decisions you’re likely to make in the future.

And since the actions are a lot more interesting and colorful than a simple “Like,” they’re driving more curious new eyeballs to the lifestyle apps in question, as well.

In other Facebook news, it looks as if the social networking giant’s value has fallen in a private-market sale. Bloomberg reports:

Facebook Inc.’s implied value fell by almost 5 percent to about $98 billion in an auction of a fund that holds shares of the world’s biggest social-networking company.

SharesPost Inc. managed a Feb. 14 auction of 200,000 fund units, each equivalent to one Facebook share, at a price of $42 apiece, according to a statement from the private-stock marketplace yesterday. SharesPost estimates Facebook has 2.33 billion shares outstanding, including stock tied to options that may be issued, according to its website.

The price dropped from last week, when SharesPost handled an auction of 150,000 shares of Facebook’s Class B common stock for $44 each, or an implied value of $102.6 billion. Facebook filed for an initial public offering on Feb. 1, and people familiar with the matter have said the company is considering a sale that would value it at $75 billion to $100 billion.

“The real test of a company’s worth only occurs in the public market,” said Lawrence Creatura, a Rochester, New York- based money manager who helps oversee $370 billion at Federated Investors Inc. “It’s like trying to forecast an athlete’s performance in a game by looking at historic statistics. Those can help you make an educated guess on things, but anything can happen on game day.”