Google on Tuesday announced one of the most highly requested changes to Google+ since the social network debuted over three years ago: no more naming restrictions. Google+ users are now free to use whichever name they desire, whether it is a real name, online pseudonym or combination of the both.
Fittingly, Google confirmed the change in a Google+ post this afternoon:
“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.”
Google+ is often inaccurately labeled as the social network that nobody cares about, overshadowed by the presence of Facebook and Twitter. But, according to Forrester Research, its usage and engagement numbers actually meet or surpass those of many of its competitors in the United States, and hopefully this change allows that growth to continue.
(P.S.: Welcome back, YouTube trolls).