Google Really Wants You To Start Using Your Real Identity On YouTube…But Will You?

By Megan O'Neill 

Back in June, YouTube started giving users the ability to change how they are seen on YouTube, using their Google+ profile on their YouTube channels, displaying their real identities.  To get the word out, they’re now making it almost impossible for users to ignore the new option to use one identity on YouTube and Google.

As Jessica Roy of BetaBeat puts it, Google has begun “practically begging you to use your real name on YouTube.”  For the past few weeks they’ve been rolling out pop-ups to users that appear when a user tries to make a comment on a video he or she is watching.  A screen pops up showing you a preview of how you appear on YouTube now and how you’ll appear after the change, with your picture and full name displayed.

If you turn down the offer to use your full name by clicking, “I don’t want to use my full name,” another pop-up will ask you to explain why you don’t want to change the way your identity is displayed.  Is it because your channel is for a show or character?  Is your channel for a music group, a product, a business or organization?  Is there another reason why you can’t use your real name?

Anonymity has made YouTube something of a Wild West, with people anonymously posting videos, leaving (and getting) trolling comments and more.  The thought of making your identity public in a place that can be so cruel is scary.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have reservations about having my public identity displayed so prominently on YouTube, so I’m holding off for now.  What do you think?  Will you be using your Google+ identity on YouTube?  Let us know in the comments below.

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Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.