This week Google+ ended it’s real name policy after 3 years which is excellent news for the Second Life community and OpenSim communities. During the past 3 years Google prevented people using fake names on Google+ when signing up. In recent years there have been reports of Second Life resident Google+ accounts flagged up and suspended. Hopefully that won’t happen anymore with this new policy change and I think it’s a good move forward in the right direction.
This is the official announcement made on the official Google+ page.
When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. 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.
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.
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.
I agree this is certainly good news for virtual worlds users in general and virtual businesses that would like a strong presence on Google+. I think in the coming months and years the Google+ communities (shown above) will grow and become more active.
- Feel free to add me on Google+ here.