Toward a more inclusive naming policy for Google+
With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world. And during the Google+ signup process, we've asked users to select the name they commonly use in real life.
Since launch we've listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process -- in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals.
When we analyze the set of all name appeals on Google+, we find that they generally fall into three major categories:
- The majority (60%) of these users want to simply add nicknames.
- About 20% of appeals are actually businesses (who are inadvertently trying to set up their business as a Profile, rather than using Google+ Pages which were intended for this purpose.)
- And the remaining 20% would either prefer to use a pseudonym or another unconventional name.
Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear - our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey.Nicknames and Names in Another Script
Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, birth names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. In the next few weeks, we’ll be displaying it more broadly as part of your name in other areas of Google+ as well. So if you’re Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jane Doe (Smith), or सौरभ शर्मा (Saurabh Sharma), you can now communicate your identity the way you want to.
To add an alternate name, go to your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, select your name and click on “More options.” (See attached photos)
It’s important to remember that when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile.Other Established Identities
On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trench coat
If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity. This might include:
- References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc
- Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following
We’ll review the information and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference. While a name change is under review, your old name will continue to be displayed. For new accounts without an old name, your profile will be in a non-public, read-only state during the review. Either way, you'll be able to see the status of your review by going to your profile.
For more details, check out the Google+ Names Policy: http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271To reiterate, the features described herein will be rolling out over the next couple days.
Today is a small step towards improving the ways in which you can communicate your identity on Google+. We will be listening to feedback from the community and will continue to refine all aspects of how we handle names and identity over the coming weeks, months and beyond.
Thanks for your continuing feedback and support.
Bradley and Team G+