Google has announced that it will begin supporting nicknames and pseudonyms for user accounts on its Google+ social network. This has been a sticky subject since the network launched seven months ago with a strict real name policy that saw violating accounts flagged and deleted. The revised Google+ name policy will begin rolling out this week.
Google’s VP of Product Bradley Horowitz made the announcement today, revealing that the number of users that take issue with the naming policy has been small, only about 0.1% submit name appeals. Of those appeals, 60% simply want to add nicknames, 20% are inadvertently trying to set up a Profile instead of Google+ Pages for their business, and the remaining 20% actually want to use a pseudonym or some other unconventional name.
Hence, starting this week, Google+ will begin rolling out support for alternate names, such as nicknames, maiden names, and names in non-Romanized languages. To add an alternate name, you go to your Google+ profile, click on Edit Profile, and then select your name to click on “More options.”
However, if it is more than a nickname, such as with pseudonyms like “Madonna,” you will have to prove that it is your established identity. Proof may include references to the pseudonym in print media, scanned official documentation such as a driver’s license, or online proof such as with a meaningful following under the pseudonym on another social network.