After stubbornly sticking by its anti-anonymity, no-nickname policy, Google will relent and allow users to create pseudonyms on the social network. At the Web 2.0 summit today, Google exec Vic Gundotra and Google co-founder Sergey Brin revealed the site will “support other forms of identity.”
Google tried long and hard to keep its users from anything but their legal names, but it appears it’s loosening its grip and allowing a little more interpretation. It’s almost like Google is learning that social networking doesn’t work the same way the rest of the Internet does.
On that note, there will be some other concessions for the young new social networking. Google+ will integrate Google apps any day now, a feature users have long requested. The biggest and possibly most rewarding update in the works, however, is support for brands. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The leverage Google+ may have over other social networks is its option to weave its e-commerce and location platforms. Places and Offers could give Google+ a significant boost.
The site could do for a new influx of users and site activity, although the team defends the site as being in an “enviable position.”
And what about the memo from a Google+ engineer last week? That one that called the social network a “pathetic afterthought”? He gets to keep his job, although Gundotra admitted it was a tense situation. You can watch the entire discussion below, powered by Livestream.