YouTube’s comment section isn’t exactly known for being a hotbed of in-depth intellectual conversations. One of the reasons for this, some would argue, is the fact that YouTube still lets people post comments using handles like ‘cutepuppies99’ without having to reveal your real identity. Starting today, however, you will have the option to use your Google-wide Google+-based identity that will show your real name (or at least the name you are using on Google+) to all YouTube users.
Google actually has been giving new YouTube users the option to use their Google-wide identity on YouTube since March. What’s new today is that even existing users can switch their old YouTube handles to their Google+ profiles. This means you can now use both your real name on YouTube and display your Google+ profile picture.
Given that you may have posted some videos or comments under the guise of anonymity that you would rather not be associated with under your real name, Don’t worry. Google also lets you see your comment and video history, as well as your public playlists, and lets you decide whether you want it to be associated with your full name.
“Using Your Full Name Isn’t For Everyone”
Does this change mean Google is soon going to force all YouTube users to switch their handles to their Google+ profiles? Probably not. In its announcement today, Google acknowledges that “using your full name isn’t for everyone. Maybe people know you by your YouTube username. Perhaps you don’t want your name publicly associated with your channel. To continue using your YouTube username, just click ‘I don’t want to use my full name’ when you see the prompt.”
What’s clear, though, is that Google definitely wants its users to use their real identity (or at least the identity they assumed when they signed up for Google+) across its products. The company says that users should “stay tuned for more ways to use this username in other Google products and services in coming months.”