So, Google have decided to abandon their requirement that you use real names, or (if you’re some kind of celebrity) your stage name, on your Google+ profile.
This is now better than Facebook.
They do at the moment still require a ‘first name’ and a ‘second name’. But unlike facebook they’re policy about how often you can change your name is some what… vague.
Limited number of name changes : After you’ve created or edited your name, you may need to wait for up to three months to change it again. It will depend on how recently you created your profile and when you last changed your name.
Up to three months is a bit longer than facebooks 60 days, but it sounds as though it might be less depending on what Googles Super Secret Inflexible Authoritative Algorithms say. Also the bold section implies that there might be an upper limit beyond which the algorithm will just say no.
Confusingly another place it says
The solution : You can change your name three times every 90 days. If you’ve recently changed your name three times, you may need to wait for up to three months to change it again.
So…. yeah. I think, what it means is that When you change your name, if you’ve had two other names within 90 days you’re stuck with it until the 90 days from the first name change has passed. But I’m honestly not sure.
I’d like the name change restrictions to be much clearer. (Or ideally have no restrictions). They also say that
Some names aren’t allowed. For example, we don’t allow names that are too long, include symbols or numbers,
So… yeah. Apologies to those with hyphenated names. I do wonder what happens if you try putting Katakana in there though.
Still, it’s an improvement, and I think qualitatively they’re now on par, or maybe slightly behind, facebook. Although I haven’t actually done a full review of Googles policies in totality when it comes to names.
(I would apologise for how this blog has turned into ‘bash the name requirements of social networks’, but some can get it right e.g. emoj.li – where your username, and all messages, must be emoji. Names are very very important to me at the moment. So I’m not sorry, and I’m not going to apologise if this kind of stuff bores you.)