Google+ naming restrictions relaxed
You have probably heard this already, you can now use whatever name you feel like when signing up for Google+.
This is understandable for several reasons, but here are the important ones. 1) YouTube users that were merged into Google+ didn’t necessarily use their real names. 2) It is next to impossible to enforce a real name policy. Sure you might catch the odd one or two, but what if you call yourself John Smith (Doctor Who reference) when your real name is something completely different? 3) Not everyone feels comfortable with using their real name online. It takes a certain courage when you first do it and leaves many people feeling vulnerable. Google wants to expand Google+ and become more inclusive, so real names had to go.
So what does this mean for Google+? People may well have concerns about users calling themselves Spongebob, or FancyPants or any number of silly things, as it would hail a return to bulletin boards, forums and internet handles. However, anyone who is serious about establishing a personal brand will avoid doing this, because it lacks credibility and is definitely not professional.
So lets welcome the Street Hawks, Nightcrawlers and Luncheon Voucher 666’s of the world. As long as we rise to the challenge and lead by example, everything will be all right.
Originally shared by Google+
When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names.
Over the years, as Google+ grew and its community became established, we steadily opened up this policy, from allowing +Page owners to use any name of their choosing to letting YouTube users bring their usernames into Google+. Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use.
We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.