A big, welcome, long-awaited, about-time change for Google+. You can now use whatever name you want.

We know you've been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has 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.

Source: Google+ (if, indeed, that is its real name)


Reader comments

Google+ now lets you use any name you want


Yay Google...!
Trick everyone that changes their names into a big data base for the NSA to keep track of.

Great idea..!
Give the people what they want and give the NSA what need. (More info on people trying to hide on the internet.)

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!

Exactly. I don't see how that's a good idea at all, except bring in more users by accepting idiots who don't want to use their real name because they're trolling or posting ridiculous/unacceptable stuff. G+ felt more mature to me because of that...

I was able to keep my name but change the way others see it a year ago by having my first name and then just the first letter of my last name, and I could of changed it all to what ever I wanted anyways, I think you could have done this all along.

I don't use Instagram and others because I don't know who I'm talking to. I have to go through pictures to figure out who's who in the ridiculous screen name game. Then I have to remember all of them to have a smooth experience when I scroll through the feed. No thanks. It's not that important. I'll just talk to people in real life where they can't hide behind some made up fake identity...

Posted via Android Central App

But if ur an music artist and go by a stage name it is important for u to be able to go by the name u are most known as. I understand the gripe with the ridiculous names tho..

Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5

Well... I had to invent Fakey McNamedrop as an alter ego in order to avoid putting my legal name all over the internet while making it clear that the "character" posting is not a true identity. Many people just don't want to put their true name on the internet due to privacy concerns... So which policy forces more ridiculous names?


If I could just have used the nickname "RumoredNow" that I prefer, I would have. I have absolutely ZERO desire to put my given name all over the interweb and it has NOTHING to do with wanting to post smarta$$ comments. I want to participate online without the exposure.

Don't you know employers deep scan looking for your online comments and activities now? We've all heard about people being fired for their facebook posts and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Call me paranoid, I don't care. Big Brother is watching and you can't get away from that, but also certain power structures not related to government are interested in data mining and it's not for the benefit of individuals.

I've also been stalked online, blackmailed, threatened, harassed and bullied. Maybe you haven't - good for you - but it only has to happen once before you learn. AND I don't want a bunch of people from my past suddenly tracking me down and begging for a bunch of my attention. I find that an abysmal waste of time.

Yeah, YouTube comments are gonn go back down the crapper, starting immediately.

Posted via Android Central App

You could have any name even before on YouTube. Just create another channel using the same account and give it a name you want.

Posted via Android Central App

Back when I briefly used Google+ because google forced me I used a fake name just fine. I cancelled soon after since google+ is stupid and I just wanted to leave a comment on an app I paid for.

Ahem, while using an Android device may not necessarily "force" you to get a Google account, it does strongly exhort the creation or owning of a Google Account to proceed in having your Android device function to its fullest extent. This means having a Google Account is REQUIRED to purchase/download apps from Google Play Services. Of course, it is your choice to purchase the Android phone/tablet in the first place, but smartphones/tablets are almost a necessity these days. If you have to use all their services to be able to do simple tasks, then are they really simple tasks? I think it's quite ridiculous that you have to go through a g-mail setup with them for a "security networking" so they can "link your device to the cloud," to be honest. I think that Android(although under Google) should be neutrally standing on the fight for more users on Yahoo vs. G-Mail/Google vs. MSN/Hotmail/Outlook vs. Hotmail/Ask/Etc. It is quite a shame that they are behind on what is important because they are more worried about advertisement than innovation. The same statement goes for Apple.

Gonna be honest, Microsoft doesn't even deserve a mention with that statement. They aren't innovation. They're advertisement. Literal embodyments of advertisement. Heh.

When you say damaged, it means it was good once.
G+ was always useless. There is no reason for this app to exist any more.

If I'm on Google plus, it's because I've spent the last 3 hours looking for a setting for another Google service and keep getting led round in circles back to it.

Posted via Android Central App

So I can change my name, and my old name has the right to be forgotten...consider that restraining order beaten!

Ohh, forgot to login to my g+ account in 2014. Don't remember what I posted there last. Only reason I have this account is for photo backup.
Not a single colleague, friend uses this. Waste of time for me..

Do you seriously believe that I will change friends for an useless app?
Like I said, only reason it's there because of photo backup.

G+ is a junk.

"G+ is a junk."

A Chinese boat? Hardly.

The G+ community is probably too intellectual for the Facebook crowd. I can sympathize even if I can't empathize.

Don't feed the trolls, G+ is better off without people with that kind of attitude anyway. In fact we should be saying something like:

Yes, G+ is trash, you're right... please don't use it!

Posted via Android Central App

Only thing Google+ did was drain my battery. Could not find a way to turn it off, so I deleted it. Never found any real use for it either.

Posted via Android Central App

I have 15 gmail accounts. Only one uses a form of my real name, the rest are psuedonyms for various reasons.

Anyone wanting to use a fake name on G+ has always been able to do so. I guess the two difference here is Google will no longer shut you down if they think you're name is fake.

Thank God ! We had a stalker or hacker trying to get in our family circles posing as one of us - common friend or family member. Then, soon after tried to log in into email account ... I really hated how by default Google was making us accessible. Good news
Posted via Android Central App
on VZW Moto X

I still have to have a first and last name and it won't let me pick whatever display name I want so as far as I'm concerned, it's still a useless piece of wazoo since I don't want my legal name out there thanks to a stalker ex! Just another reason why I haven't bothered with it. I was forced to use it to utilize other Google products and that's the only reason I even have it.

Same here... just tried to change my profile name, but Google still says that it doesn't follow their guidelines. :-(

Posted via Android Central App

I think G+ is great. Wish everyone would ditch facebook for it. I know facebook has worked to copy some of G+'s privacy settings, but I like how the circles are laid out. Most of what I want to post is for immediately family or very close friends, not the 300+ people I have on facebook. I like that it's easy to organize people and that all my android images get automatically backed up to G+.

What we shouldn't be doing:

Forgetting that users have been asking for this and numerous other changes of annoying functionality constantly over the last 2 years, and that this small victory is little consolation.

What we should be doing:

Seeing that Google have in fact recognised a mistake finally and acted on it (I doubt this will stop my g+ name replacing my channel name on youtube every 2 weeks, but it may still be a step in the right direction). So many IT businesses refuse to change a bad decision, it's nice to see mistakes being admitted AND fixed.

Posted via Android Central App

" In fact yours is about only intelligent post on this story."

Oh, irony. You are such a vengeful mistress.

Very happy but a little afraid to try this. The last time I tried to change my Google+ name (so that my real name wasn't all over the internet) it changed the name that gmail showed to my contacts, which I DO want to be my real name because I am intentionally contacting the people that I email and I don't want my boss for example to get confused. Has anyone who tried yet know if this is still an issue?

Looks to me if you change your G+ name it changes it for EVERYTHING. I'm in exactly the same boat as you. I don't want my Gmail to show some snarky screen name. From what I can see, this is exactly the same as it's been for at least a few weeks when I last tried it. OP how about a step by step "how to" to make sure we're doing this correctly? What's the latest version of G+?

Now they just need to fix the other half of the problem that the G+ crap ties into everything else. Thery need to stop using your G+ avatar for your contact photo in android. Hell, just stop forcing everything to tie into G+. I wouldn't mind logging my achievements in games or saving my scores across devices, but stop bugging me to share my game info with everyone.

Why wouldn't you use your real name on this social network? Google+ is where I get real info..cmon

Posted via Android Central App

These are the same type of assholes that black out their car windows so you can see who's running you off the road.

Then why can't i remove my name and just leave behind my nickname? It's still forcing me to fill in both firstname and lastname boxes. When i'd like it to only say "BaldyPal".

Yep, no clue how this is something new. I really don't mind using my real name on G+, but I'd change it if I had the option to without it adding the "nickname" when I sent an email via gmail.

That's amazing. This is the oldest news I'm ever read about on Android Central. It's over a year ago that US forced Google to let you have what name you like. My name is John Doe in Swedish.

Posted via Android Central App

I suppose this will make people stop crying but at the same time there will be more crying now that all the trolls can move in and hide behind a username... :/