Google+ has finally removed their restriction that said people were only allowed to use their real names on the social network. In addition to opening up the floodgates on pseudonyms, they also issued an apology for taking so long to do this.
In the announcement, they said, “When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names.”
They later went on to say, “We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this had 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.”
Many will see this as a good sign that Google really isn’t going to let the social network die, as many rumors suggest. While this is a fairly minor change, it is a move in the right direction.
It does open up some questions, however. For example, what about their authorship service? Will they allow people to use pseudonyms in that program, which is primarily a Google+ feature?
There will likely be some clarification in the future, but for now, we can go register a Google+ account in whatever name we wish…Enjoy.