As BetaBeat first noticed, Google is attempting to peel back the anonymity cloak that surrounds YouTube.
The search engine, which seems to dabble in all things Web, mobile, and tech, now displays a pop-up box to YouTubers who try to leave a video comment. The notice prompts users to start surfing the video-sharing platform with their full name instead of a username or pseudonym.
Google appears to crop names from Google+ profiles, which is likely a byproduct of the Google+ integration from last year that required all YouTubers to login with their Gmail account credentials.
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YouTubers can choose to be identified—or they can select “I don’t want to use my real name.” If they wish to remain anonymous, another pop-up appears with an “Are you sure?” message. Google then offers YouTubers a chance to preview their full name on the account (just in case), but then it finally provides explanation options to the stubborn ones who still want to surf incognito.
BetaBeat contacted YouTube to ask about the transition, and this is what the folks in Mountain View had to say:
UPDATE: A YouTube representative got back to us and said they began adding that option to existing users on June 29th, adding, “Note that it is not only for commenting – YouTube users with existing Google+ profiles see this option when they comment or upload a video.”
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