Former Google+ lead Vic Gundotra talks at Google I/O in June of 2012.
Google+ dropped all of its restrictions surrounding profile names Tuesday, which means users can now use any name they want on their profile page.
At launch in 2011, Google+ restricted users from adopting fake names, although that rule has softened over the years. For example, YouTube users have already been able to use their YouTube profile name on Google+, even if it didn't match their true identity.
Now, all of those rules and restrictions have been tossed out the window, and Google is opening the platform to any and all usernames, the company announced in a blog post. Google still encourages users to keep their true identity, though nothing can stop anyone from creating a different name.
"We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users," the company wrote. "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."
The new feature doesn't mean users will be able to get all Jekyll and Hyde, however. Once a username is altered, Google+ can lock users from changing again for up to three months, depending on how new they are to the platform, and how frequently they switch identities.
Also, changing your username also changes the way it appears on other Google products, including Gmail and YouTube.
The new rules (or lack thereof) may have the biggest impact on YouTube, where Google recently integrated Google+ into YouTube comments. The switch required YouTube users to connect their YouTube account to their Google+ page in order to comment. When Google+ pages required true identities, it may have prompted some users to think twice before blasting another user on the platform.
Now, commenting anonymously is back. As one user said on Google+'s blog post: "Translation: It's safe to come out and play again, comment trolls."
Users can change their name on the platform by clicking on their existing username, while looking at their Google+ profile.
Tags: FAKE NAME, SOCIAL MEDIA, USERNAME, YOUTUBE