Finally! I can change my name to Baron von Fancy Pants on Google+ now that Google have put an end to their controversial real name requirement that was introduced when the service launched three years ago. The Real Name Policy meant that pseudonyms and usernames could not be used on Google+ and then YouTube, when Google announced the merge of the two services.
The Real Name policy lead to some concern that it would put people at risk because of how wide-spread Google+ integration is across the web, Google have finally announced that you no longer have to have your real name on Google+. When Google+ launched three years ago, Google hoped it would take on a similar feel to Facebook with real names, and real people but soon realised that “it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names,” the admitted in an unsigned post on Google+.
“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+,” the post read. “Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use.”
This however lead to a lot more confusion as YouTube users and Brand owners could use any name they wanted, thus causing people to question the real-name policy, something the company had also realised.
“We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users,” the company said. “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.”
What this means now, is that you can finally sign up to Google+ and have the name you really want. Baron von Fancy Pants, here I come!