Google starts changing Google+ naming system

Google starts changing Google+ naming system

Summary: The good news: You may soon be able to pick out human readable names for your Google+ account. The bad news: Google won't let just anyone do it.

Google may soon be letting you pick more people-friendly Google+ Web addresses.

Google+ is the best social network for grown-ups, but Google still doesn't get it when it comes to letting people go by the names they want.

The good news is that Google will soon let you use human readable names for your Google+ account. In the next few weeks you can follow me at instead of The bad news is that Google is limiting who can use such names.

Saurabh Sharma, a Google project manager, wrote, “We’re introducing custom URLs to make it even easier for people to find your profile on Google+. A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly to your profile or page on Google+."

Sharma then cites such examples as “ Whether you're a clothing brand showing off your latest fashions (, an athlete talking about the game (, or an actor recalling a favorite role (, your Google+ profile helps you connect with the people who share your interests.”

He continues, “ For instance, +TOYOTA  can now use to unveil their latest models, +Britney Spears  can share her upcoming appearances at, +Ubisoft  can share game trailers and videos at, and +Delta  can help travellers find great deals at”

Google+: The Gallery

Notice a pattern here? These are all, even the people, business brands. That's great if you want to advertise your latest song, movie, products or services, it's not so great if you just want a more attractive URL.

There's another pattern here as well. Look at those custom Google+ URLs closely. Notice something? They're not Google+ URLs, they are Google URLs. Google CEO Larry Page recently said, “Google Plus is truly at the heart of our efforts to create our social spine. With over 120 Google Plus integrations to date, we're on the right track. Your user experience on Google just gets better. You can see friends' recommendations when you're using Google play and you don't think about that as Google Plus but it just comes from that infrastructure.”

This new name policy may be proof that Page meant what he said. In other words, Google+ is not Google's answer to Facebook and Twitter. It's the spine, the neural network of the next generation of Google. With this move Google is showing that it's continuing to integrate the personal with the global into its search and other services.

That said, we don't know when, or even if, most people will be able to use this custom name integration. Sharma concluded, “Custom URLs will also be available to people and pages worldwide, so brands like Globo can point readers to, or any of their other Brazilian publications. At first, we’re introducing custom URLs to a limited number of verified profiles and pages. But over time we plan to offer custom URLs to many more brands and individuals, so please stay tuned!”

If you can't wait though to have a people friendly Google+ Web address, you may not have to. As I explained last year, you may already have such a name. This is your Google Profile URL: . This user name is your Gmail name. So, for example,, will bring you right to my G+ page. This, however, will not work with Google Apps accounts nor does it seem to work with all other accounts.

If it does work for you though it will  take visitors to your G+ page just as quickly as the new-fangled Google, no plus, Web addresses will.  

Related Stories:

Google adds Google+ Hangout style video-conferencing to Gmail

Google Plus gets a new look and feel (Review)

CNET: YouTube gently prods users to go by their real names

Star Trek's Wil Wheaton thinks Google+ is becoming an annoying mistake

Five Things to love about Google+

Getting a user-friendly Web address on Google Plus

Topics: Google, Networking, Social Enterprise

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  • Google starts changing Google+ naming system

    Google always brings great services.
    • RickLively

      What's your point? Can you clarify?
      Tim Acheson
      • Google services
      • Trol Acheson

        and your point? Troll troll troll?
  • Google got it wrong AGAIN!

    Finally they're trying to do it properly, well almost.
    Tim Acheson
  • Google+ is the best social network for grown-ups

    I'm 20 year old and I love Google+
    • You're 20.

      Stop using the word grown-ups.
      • RE: You're 20.

        iamrahulroy merely copied and pasted that bit from SJVN's first sentence in the article. And SJVN is *A LOT* older than 20.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Only if that's where your friends are

      And AFAIK, none are on Google+. Between LinkedIn and Facebook, I have no desire to repeat myself posting redundant information that people would likely see in either of those other two sites. I have professional (LinkedIn) and personal (FB) contacts, some crossover, but there is no third group that another service such as Google+ fits in.

      I like Google products and services generally, but I've had no reason to try Google+, and this announcement seems to indicate they have just released a way to advertise more effectively. I know they are primarily an advertising company, but that is my least-favorite attribute of Google.
      • Yes LinkedIn and Facebook

        do it for me. Family and friends is Facebook, Linkedin is professionals with a little bit of crossover.

        I don't really see a need for Google+ and it appears the world agrees with me ;-)
        • LOL!

          Yet not one of your employees has posted a comment agreeing with anything you have written on ZDNET.
  • they scan everything

    No thanks!
  • So ...

    At Google+, unless one is or represents a brand, Google considers you to be a number.

    Nothing to see here. Move on.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Watch out Myspace!!

    With Google's "massive" growth, it will overtake Myspace and Friendster in no time.
    Your Non Advocate
  • Not interested

    To protect free speech, truth, security and offer real life social life Google needs to do huge change what is to allow use of nickname in public and deny searching with your real name so no one can search your profile unless you actually accept it.

    That means when someone does a search "john Smith Jr" the person gets notification that person X has searched you. Then you can accept the searcher to find you or just ignore that.

    That is reason for like you can deny your ex-girlfriends or bosses to find out that you are in that service in first place.

    Then anonymity trough nickname is needed so people can actually use free speech to explain corporations wrong doings or other sensitive topics without anyone else knowing who it really was.
    Of course Google do know what is your real name and if people starts reporting your messages, google can track it to you. That means if you really do violate laws of your country like you start suggesting others to do hate crimes etc, it can be traced back to you.

    But you can still inform and discuss about topics safely with other people without them knowing your name. Like if you know company X has done something against law. Or you can tell to school bullies parents their kids doing without bullies knowing so.

    If a person can choose who really can find his profile and then see his name in public discussions (even on friend wall) it just makes the real social life.

    You don't need and don't typically give your name when you discuss in normal social life.
    Meaning when you are in bus and you discuss with someone next to you, you dont give your whole name, usually you don't need to give name.
    When you are sitting in waiting room, you can chat with other people without telling anything about yourself but still being social very well. Then if someone is interested, they can tell their name just expecting you to say yours back.

    In bullying situations you want to report anonymously bullies and wrong doings to teachers and parents without bullies knowing it. If they know it who did it, you are in bigger trouble because they will revenge it back to you.

    When companies brake law or they do something other morally wrong, you want to leak the information out anonymously. It isn't always enough you report it to government or police etc as they can not do anything about it, but you want it to be told to public audience so they can start voting not to support that company any more and company PR (read propaganda) is harder to affect people. Thats why wikileaks is so important because we need it as there is more powerful corrupted officials than there are those who are willing to push forward the official way to get corrupted people off their position.

    There are cases where your friend friends are ***holes who you don't want to see what you type on public on your friend messages etc. But it isn't nice always just to use private message to do so.

    So far only real digital social life discussion technic is email, you can use nickname, you can have private messaging just between people you want, you can share information between multiple people without them knowing anything who else it is going and you can even whitelist from who you can get email in first place and rest to be set in "spambox". Then if your friend say someone else wants to contact you, then you can add their information to your white list and he/she can contact you. With email, you are in control of your social life and you can be as open as you want but people who you don't want to be contacted or seen your online activities you can have so.

    Email isn't dead, it is safest way to actually work on these days and it is most social digital technology what is out there.
  • Nickname Database

    To pick a nickname to use in google plus new nickname feature use this website : . Good luck ! ;)
  • Nicknames Database

    To pick a nickname to use in google plus new nickname feature use this website : NickkkNames . Good luck ! ;)

    Sorry for repost !