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Google+ Lifts Name Restrictions, Call Yourself Whatever You Want

When Google+ was first launched, the company was very adamant about having “real” people be a part of their community. This made the overall feel of the social network more genuine.

As years have passed, Google is now relaxing a bit about the name you can use on your profile, allowing those who wish to remain anonymous to still be a part of the G+ community. 

Starting today, basic users (non page owners) can change their name to whatever they would like. This could be “Mister Fantastic” or even “Penguin Lover.” It’s up to you.

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.

To edit your name, because Google+ is an absolute maze of settings and categories, go to the top right where you see your profile picture. Click it. From there, hit Account. Then, “Edit Profile.” Once you are on your G+ page, you can select to edit your name to whatever you would like.

We assume you can’t use curse words still (unconfirmed), but it’s not like you were going to try that anyways, right?

Thank you, Goog.

Via: +Google
  • hoosiercub88

    I could never understand what the BFD was about “real names” if you’re going to troll YouTube comments why be ashamed to do it with your real name. I mean.. it’s not like you’re the only John Smith out there.

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  • 213ninja

    i like this decision, thanks for the deets yo.

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  • Trysta

    Yay! Does anyone know if changing your name on Google+ will change the name that shows up in gmail? Because I use my gmail for work sometimes and need that to stay the same but would like to have a username associated with everything else Google+ touches. Really surprised they finally gave in on this but happy all the same 🙂

  • Jonathan

    I don’t understand all the resistance to Google+. I personally use it quite a lot, mostly for android and developer related things. But I totally get it if you’re not into that sort of thing or don’t want another social network. But honestly, what is the problem with activating Google+, being able to use all the services you’re currently “resisting” and never visiting the actual Google+ website again? It’s basically just a personalization of your Google account. It results in a much better environment for everyone when comments on apps are from “William Turner” and not “[email protected]”. It gives more of a sense of real people, and real reviews instead of a horde of mindless internet robots. Same with Hangouts. I’d much rather be in a group chat with my co-workers Elizabeth, Jack, and Benedict than a chat with “[email protected]”, “[email protected]”, and “[email protected]

    (Also please don’t try to email any of those I obviously made them up to prove a point that example.com just couldn’t quite cover)

    • Trysta

      With Hangouts I agree. You should know who you are talking to since presumably you initiated the conversation. With Google+ because it is linked to so many other things (Youtube, app reviews etc) it made me feel like I couldn’t have private interests. I do not care if Google knows that I watched that embarrassing youtube video the other day or that I downloaded an app about ovulation and wanted to post a review on it (fictional example!). I do care if my coworkers etc. know. I should be able explore interests on the web without everyone I know being able to google my name and see them. Just seriously not ok. Glad they finally realized this.

      • admmck

        Very good point. When I head into the Play Store on my phone, I see what apps people in my Gmail contacts purchased. I’m sure they didn’t share that with me intentionally, but Google in all their wisdom enabled that G+ function anyway. I’d like to be able to turn that “feature” off for their sake (and mine). I don’t care what apps they installed…

      • Jonathan

        Ah yeah I see where you’re coming from. With Google+ they had a good concept, but I guess they just took it a little too far

  • Paul

    Didn’t know Google was still enforcing this. My account was shutdown within weeks of me signing up during the invite only period because I used my initials. Needless to say, I never appealed my profile being shutdown. Still won’t be using Google+ anytime soon.

    • yvonnerchandler

      My Uncle
      Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
      with a laptop. visit their website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • this is nice, what about changing my URL now… or am I stuck with it?

  • Colby

    So how long before I can actually make my profile private again?

    • Nothing New

      I changed my name on Google a year ago, this is nothing new. Instead of my full name I rehanged it to shorten my last name with one initial under “What everyone sees”

      • jordanchernandez

        My Uncle
        Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
        with a laptop. visit their website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • C J

    Tried to edit my name but it says server error.

    Then tried to edit it via the google plus app and it said my name violated the names policy.

    Want to use my initials instead of my full Name

  • coolsilver

    I was wondering about that couple weeks ago

  • admmck

    Still hate Google+’s forced integration. I can’t rate anything on Google Play without being hog-tied and forced into G+. IF A PRODUCT IS GREAT, THEN PEOPLE WILL FLOCK TO IT!! (not be forced into using it). THAT is the bottom line!

    • Defenestratus

      Then don’t use the social stream… simple as that. G+ == Google Account, nothing more. The social stream is completely different from the account that’s required across all Google services.

      • admmck

        You’re wrong. I can’t rate apps and do many other things without being forced into using G+. They’ve taken over Photos, etc. They unilaterally associate (forced) all my Gmail contacts into Google+ so I can “see” what they’re up to on the Play store, etc, even thought I don’t have a G+ account. Just for social services??? You’re joking, right? Give me a break. Even Google is finally realizing that their social experiment (forced integration) has failed, which is evident by them backtracking on this issue (and others). No one can argue that. G+ will continue to become less popular… Again. If you make a great product, people will FLOCK to it, not be forced into using it…

        • Lucky Armpit

          1000 Internets to you, sir. I can’t use Hangouts because I’d have to create a G+ account to be able to send photos via Hangouts. really, Google?! I’m resisting as long as I possibly can. Don’t force me to use your terrible products just to be able to use the good ones

        • Jonathan

          I don’t agree with a lot of your points, but I couldn’t agree more with Photos. I love the Google+ photos stuff but I can’t help but feel that it’s an amazing service that’s being held down by being locked inside of Google+. I’d love to see what it could do on it’s own, without being hidden under the Google+ site

          • hoosiercub88

            I’m not sure what you’re getting at? Photos isn’t being held down at all, not anymore so than something like Flickr or Vimeo. You can share/download/link/edit/save/backup… Unlimited, free storage of images and videos for life.

            I’m failing to see a downside here, other than the whiney complaint that you ‘have to sign up for Google+’ which you don’t even have to use.. it can literally be as simple as a yes, set it, then forget it.

            People will never be happy unless they have something to complain about, it’s human nature at it’s purest form.

        • hoosiercub88

          Then go buy yourself a Windows Phone or an iPhone?

    • Wall Breaker

      Why wouldn’t you want to be Part of Google +? Its honestly like one massive Android Community Like XDA Developers but with more of a Social focus.

      Most Users on G + are Tech Enthusiast. Also its the Only Place you can Share Photosphere Photos and it is great place to interact with other Tech Enthusiasts and Join Countless Android Communities or Specific Communities geared toward the Devices you use.

      • admmck

        C-h-o-i-c-e! It’s plain and simple. I want to CHOOSE what services I want to use. I have chosen not to use G+ (after trying it out). And now I’m not allowed to rate apps, post other comments, etc. like I USED to be able to do, because Google feels it’s in my best interest to use THEIR product that I don’t want or need to use. I’ve resisted switching my original user name to my given name on Youtube. Now, I can finally keep my original user name without having to be careful whenever I log in and they try to get me to switch.

        I’ve championed Google products for years, but I won’t be forced into a product just because it’s in the same Google family. That is what Apple does. They feel they should decide what is best for their users. That is why I use Android…

        It’s not about the product, people, it never was for me. I know it can be very useful for people, and that’s great for them. It’s not useful for me (and I like all-things tech). It’s about Google forcing it down our throats! (It’s called “principle”). Choice will ALWAYS be > than No Choice!

        • Beavis

          Your posts are hilarious. You said it – choice. If you’re freaking out about G+ and it’s integration into everything, then don’t use any of it. Stop whining and vote by not using it.

          BTW, Google provides all these free services in exchange for access to all of our information. If you’re all messed up about a little social network and not that they can access all your emails, contacts, photos, etc., then there’s no reasoning with a fool. *drops mic*

          • admmck

            You’re right. My choice to not use G+ has clearly sent a message… (I wish). It’s nice that they’re backing away from some of their FORCED G+ integration. I have no problem letting Google snoop through my emails. I chose that. I never wanted to be forced to change my Youtube account (since I signed up with it before Google purchased Youtube).

            Didn’t Kelex post an article last month or so about G+ dying in the future? Was their anything new announce at I/O this year about it? Didn’t one of G+’s big dogs leave? Hopefully they stop forcing people into this product. I honestly hoped they would have made it so great I couldn’t not use it. But, their forceful ways soured me and many others. I purchased a Gmail invite in the beginning. I would gladly pay for many of their services, that’s not an issue. Google Voice is one of my favs. I have benefited (and wholly enjoyed) from many of their services. That’s why it’s a shame they’re trying (tried) to force it on us. Again, don’t force integration, INNOVATE and provide choice.

          • Nota sheep period

            G+Sheep, Baaaah baaaah baaaah. From the same people that call Iphone users Isheep

          • Beavis

            lol wut

    • hoosiercub88

      *Cry me a river…*

  • Shawn John

    One more step to giving that “Myspace” feel. Ha Ha Ha, add some glittery backgrounds to profiles and slow down the load times and you have a modern day Myspace, cmon G+ move forward not back.

    • Mickey A Valentine

      Gah those HTML embedding codes always had bugs

  • Nicolas Palomo

    Still cant use one single word, at least I cant. I want to name my channel with one word no two Google.

    • Droid Ronin


    • Defenestratus

      Use a period for your last name.