Posted on July 18, 2014

Google+ Drops Restrictions Surrounding Profile Names

Recently Google+ announced that it will be dropping all restrictions associated with profile names, meaning that users can now use any name they wish for their profile on the social media site.

When Google+ launched back in 2011, users were restricted from adopting fake names for their profiles. That rule softened over the years. For instance, YouTube users have been able to use their YouTube profile name on Google+ even if that name didn’t match up with their true identity. Now, all of those rules and restrictions have been tossed by the wayside as Google opens the platform to any and all usernames. The social media site still encourages users to keep their true identity despite the fact that anyone can now create a different name of their choice.

In a blog post, Google announced, “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 [this] change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.” However, this announcement does not mean that users can change their profile names over and over again on the site. Once a username has been altered, Google+ can actually lock users from changing it again for up to three months. Another thing to keep in mind is that changing a username on Google+ will also change the way it appears on other Google platforms including YouTube and Gmail.

The biggest impact to be seen with this change will be most evident on YouTube where Google recently integrated Google+ into YouTube comments. The change required YouTube users to connect their YouTube account with their Google+ page in order to post comments on videos. When true identities were required on Google+, it may have prohibited users from making negative or derogatory comments on the platform. This raises concerns amongst some YouTube users due to the fact that users can now hide behind a fake name when posting comments to the site.

If you’re wondering what these changes mean to your Google+ and YouTube profiles, please contact one of our qualified social media specialists today at (207) 878-5900.