Is using your real name stopping you from using Google+? Good news. Google has dropped the real name requirement from the service and issued an apology.

The real name requirement has been a persistent criticism of Google+ especially by YouTube users.

There has been some uncertainty surrounding Google+ in recent months. Back in April, Vic Gundotra, the person in charge of Google+ announced he was leaving the company. This move shows Google still supports the network and wants to improve the user experience.

Removing the real name requirement should help bring in new users. But, will it alienate the existing user base who might not want to see the influx of fake names?

Google’s Statement:

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.

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