Back in March, YouTube announced that any new user could choose to link to his or her Google+ account upon registration, using his or her full name as a username. In June, they began to roll out this privilege for current users. Last week, the YouTube creators announced that site partners can now choose to use their G+ identity as well by “opting in” on well.
The change bodes well for content creators who are stuck with a childish username they came up with in middle school and have been stuck with ever since. For example, Justin Bieber is now free to shed his username of “kidrauhl” and use his full name on his channel (which may not matter much in the case of the Biebs as Vevo and his prepubescent username aren’t preventing him from getting enough exposure on YouTube.) If a content creator chooses to opt in, his first and last name will appear, properly spaced and capitalized, on his profile. His account URL, however, will remain the same. Therefore, xxWiLdGiRlxx will have to wait a little longer before every trace of her ill-advised handle is eliminated.
There is still at least one more step before YouTube is freed from the chains of poorly chosen monikers. Users can still only opt in with their G+ profiles; G+ pages (signifying a brand or group effort) still aren’t ready to take that next step. So if you want your band’s channel to use its name and not your poorly-spelled ode to whatever you loved the most in high school, you’re going to have to wait just a little bit longer.
However, this is a positive step for YouTube, as they continue to integrate with their owners over in Mountain View.