For the three years since its launch, Google+ has often been seen as the bronze metal of social media. You've got Facebook and Twitter up there in Gold and Silver positions (which rank is dependent on who you ask!) and then, at the bottom of the totem pole is good old Google+.
Many have given rationale for this placement, and one very common thing that users complained about is the requirement to use their real names. This complaint was heightened when Google+ started pushing comments through directly to YouTube, so real names were used there as well.
Many don't want their legal name used in social media, for any number of safety of personal reasons. On Facebook, you can list nicknames, maiden names or just choose not to have your last name. Twitter profiles don't need to represent your name at all! But until yesterday, Google+ held strong to real names only.
Yep, I said until yesterday. Google+ has finally raised the white flag of surrender and decided to allow users to go by any name they choose. In an official statement on their own Google+ page, the company wrote:
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.
Well, Google+, apology accepted! And from now on, you can just refer to me as DIVA!