Google Talks Upcoming Improvements to Name Handling for Google+ Profiles

    July 26, 2011
    Chris Crum

Google’s Bradley Horowitz wrote a post on Google+ about how the company is handling its process for informing users when they are violating its policy on user names. Google is working on changes to the process, though they may not be in effect just yet.

For one, users will be given a warning and a chance to correct their name before their accounts are suspended, though if Google determines that the account is violating other policies (like spamming) then it will still be suspended immediately.

There will be a clear indication of how the user can edit their name, and there will be “better expectation setting” as to next steps and timeframes for users engaged int he process, Horowitz says, adding that they’re also looking at ways to improve the signup process to reduce the chances that users will “get themselves into a state that will later result in review.”

“Third, we’ve noticed that some people are using their profile name to show-off nicknames, maiden names and personal descriptions,” Horowitz writes. “While the profile name doesn’t accommodate this, we want to support your friends finding you by these alternate names and give you a prominent way of displaying this info in Google+.”

“If you add nicknames, maiden names, etc. to the ‘Other names’ portion of your G+ profile, those with permission to view those fields can search for you using that term,” he explains. “For example: some of my colleagues call me “elatable,” a pseudonym I’ve used on many services, so I’ve added it to my list of other names.”

It’s unclear when these features will become reality, but according to Horowitz, it will be ASAP.

For the time being, if you’re looking to set up a profile, you’d probably do well to just stick with your real name.

It’s also worth noting, however, that Google will not suspend your entire Google account for violating the common name standards. You’ll still be able to use things like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Blogger, etc.