When Google+ launched, one key criticism was that it forced people to register with a “real name”, which in Google’s world meant a first name and a surname. Google has now marginally changed that policy, introducing an option to allow “alternate names” on the service.
In a post on Google+, VP Bradley Horowitz says that Google+ is adding an option to let you include an alternate name, which could be a nickname or other identity by which you are widely known. As with most Google services, it’s a gradual rollout which means you might have to wait a few days to see it. Google also says it is updating its review process to handle less “traditional” cases.
While the new policy does represent a move away from an absolute “first name+last name, no exceptions” policy, Google still seems to be marginalising people who legally only have one name or who come from a culture with different naming conventions. Judging from the responses on Horowitz’s post, not everyone is happy, which might explain why Google is now trying to force all new Google signups to join Google+.