After years of complaints from users, Google has finally caved and dropped the real name policy that governed Google+, which in turn affected many other Google entities.
In an apologetic post, Google admits that their name policy has “been unclear” and that it has led to “unnecessary difficult experiences for some.”
“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,” says Google.
Google+ was built on a foundation of no anonymity, as users were required to use their real names when setting up a profile. As Google began to integrate Google+ into more of its properties (like YouTube, Google Play, and more), the real name policy began to affect users all across the board.
“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,” admits Google.
And throughout the whole thing, privacy advocates argued that point – sometimes, some people need to use a pseudonym.
Though Google relaxed this policy some as of late, they’re now taking the final action to eliminate the requirement altogether.
“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,” they say.
Just three months ago Vic Gundotra, the main behind Google+, abruptly announced that he was leaving the company. Just as reports have been flying since the launch of Google+, people once again proclaimed the social network’s imminent death. Google promised that Gundotra’s departure would have absolutely no impact on Google+ and its operations – but this policy shift has to be seen as an attempt to win back or simply win users who felt iffy about being forced into so much notoriety.