Google+ removes name restrictions, says sorry to users

Google+ is now allowing pseudonyms rather than real-name usernames

Google has removed the need for Google+ account holders to use their real names, and apologised for putting this policy in place since 2011.

The restrictions did lead to Google+ establishing a community of real people, Google said, but excluded a number of people who did not want to use their real names on the social networking site.

In a shared Google+ post on Tuesday evening the search giant explained it had steadily relaxed the restrictions so page owners could use whatever name they wanted and YouTube users could integrate their usernames into Google+.

The firm said: “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 apologise. Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use.”

Google hopes that this move will not only placate users but also make the social media platform a more inclusive and welcoming place for the Google+ community.

However, some of the comments below the announcement hint that the change may not be wholly welcomed by some Google+ members.

User Chris Chase was not convinced the policy change was for the best: “Anonymity has its place on the internet. I’m just not sure that [Google+] is that place.”

Another user, William Dowell, said: “I respectfully disagree with this decision, but there you go. Can’t please everybody. And I guess this is to try and gain traction.”

Back in 2011, V3 reported that Google has axed its failed Buzz service in order to focus on Google+. But over the past 12 months, there has been some speculation and rumour that Google would be closing down Google+.

It is not unusual for Google to tweak, rework or simply cut its various networking platforms. Earlier this month V3 reported that Google called time on its Orkut social media service after claiming that success in other areas of the business rendered Orkut’s existence irrelevant.

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