Google+ has been strict about their policies from the very first day. It’s important to keep a new social network legit and organized, so the use of fake or chosen names was not an option. One had to use a real name. As of today, this is no longer the case.
Google is ready to let you choose whatever name that may tickle your fancy. This is not a new movement, though. Google has been slowly bringing this feature for a while. First by allowing page owners to choose their names, later by allowing YouTube users to bring their usernames to the new social network.
Now that this restriction has been lifted, what will become of Google+? The idea behind forcing users to use their real names was to create a community of real people. It was much more complicated to create a fake account or hide someone’s identity, giving more credibility to the network. A new Google+ era is upon us.
How will the new name policy change Google+?
According to Google, the idea is that there is a healthy list of people that would want to be part of Google+, but without sharing their real name. Users have been requesting this feature for a long time, meaning we have been leaving a part of the community in the dark.
Chances are we may see an influx of people, but we must wonder how much of a difference this new feature really makes. Will it really make people change their minds about Google+? Maybe, maybe not, but we do know it makes Google+ a bit more welcoming.
Does quantity equal quality?
Now, if this does result in more people joining our favorite social network – is that really a positive change? In this case, more may not mean merrier. We know many users have legitimate reasons for wanting to use another name, but more fake accounts may also be a result of this change.
This means Google+ may very well become a less credible source, much like some of the other social networks. This is not to say Google is wrong. After all, they do have to take down their walls at some point, but Google+ as we know it may soon change and this could be the very first step in that direction.