Google’s Bradley Horowitz recently announced that Google+ will be accepting Nicknames and Pseudonyms. Considering other changes, is Google+ drowning?
People from day one have been asking for anonymity on Google+ and now Google has a few ways to hide your real name from the world. At least that is how it seems. With the announcement a couple of friends tried setting up nicknames. And while they could add them into their profile, they couldn’t change the name that people saw. Hopefully that portion just hasn’t rolled out yet.
The Pseudonym Policy on the other hand will require some verification. The methods could be rather arbitrary as they say the will require either real world or online verification of some sort. The arbitrary nature of the verification process is where I see problems coming in. The other question is what should be a nickname and what a Pseudonym?
Finally, Google is forcing people to sign up for Google+ when they get any of Google’s services. While we all know that this is a sure fire way to artificially increase the numbers for Google+, there is another problem with this. The naming policy, unless you get an approved pseudonym, requires real information such as your full name. This limits the usefulness of Gmail as an anonymous e-mail account. Not only that, but it could drive people to picking up Yahoo or Hotmail accounts again. Forcing people to sign up for a service they don’t want and will not use is a bad business decision on any company’s part. It really makes you wonder if Google+ is drowning in its own hype.
Right now I am taking a wait and see approach. I have a Google+ account already, and I do have a Google+ page set up for SiliconShecky, which eventually I will find a tool that will post my articles to Google+ like I post to twitter automatically. Also check out this article from Ars Technica for more information.