Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Google no longer requires real names on Google+

After all the frustration it caused, after all the justifications it gave us, Google now finally backtracks and will stop requiring Google Plus users to register using their real names.

Google starter Google+ with the idea of being a social network for "real people". In the process they forgot lots of "real people" had lots of good reasons for not wanting to use their real names online. Maybe you created your entire online presence based on a nickname; maybe you simply didn't want NSA to track you down for joking around with sensitive material. No matter what, that decision caused a lot of frustration for many users, that either discarded the possibility of using G+, or annoyingly accepted to use their real name (or not so real ones!)

Now, Google now longer requires using real names on G+, making all the previous justifications a moot point. Yes, that means you now be able to use all sorts of messed up names - but what I'm curious about is to see how people will react. If you were one of those person that had to deal with that "requirement" first hand; how would you look at this now? Would you consider it to be a "finally, at last they heard me!" - or - "Now it's too late, there's no way I'll be using G+ with or without my desired username"?

That's something only time will tell, but considering all the focus shifting at Google regarding Google+ (it was barely mentioned in this year's Google IO), it really does seem that they're giving up on it and giving free reign to "whom it may concern".

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