When the flocks began migrating from MySpace to Facebook around five years ago, one of the common positives ascribed to FB was the fact that it ensured real names — that would help you know who the heck you were talking to. In my opinion, it was a series of small improvements to design and user experience that allowed Facebook to perform so well and attract so many users, and as we know now, small features are enough to create entire networks like Twitter, Tumblr or Quora. So why is Google letting nicknames back on the table?
When Google+ first launched, they allowed users to create users with whatever name they liked, but after a change, users got loud and Google has now switched back to their original position. Bradley Horowitz from Google stated that “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.”
The decision came after they analyzed people’s requests for special names and nicknames, and after looking at the results they found that most people just wanted to add little nicknames to their account. So Google+ is letting them have those names beside their real name. The stats of what people were looking for are below:
- 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.
Google has worked out a solution
that pleases those who want nicknames while maintaining the integrity of real names on the site. A pretty smart move!