The YouTube blog announced today the ability to change how you appear on YouTube, with the chance to use your real name along with any photo you associate with yourself through Google Plus. Also, you now have the ability to review your activity and whether you'd like those activities shared publicly in association with your real name. This ability was given to new users in March of this year, and it apparently proved popular enough that YouTube is allowing it for existing users now. But you know, you have to use Google Plus and stuff. That might be a sticking point for some.
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This is not yet available for partners, brands, or organizations (is that the first time ever?), and only in the US for now. You can now appear as you do on Google Plus, with a full name complete with spaces, along with a picture:
But maybe you don't want to have your name associated with your channel. In that case, you can keep using your alter-ego by just clicking “I don’t want to use my full name” when you see the prompt.
And maybe you've got some videos and comments you'd like to keep away from your real name. You can now review all of your activity and make sure that some of those groaners aren't attached to it:
So YouTube is making it possible for your experience on the site to be a lot more personal. Hey, some people like the idea of having their face plastered all over a site, making witty comments and posting crazy Spring Break videos. I don't think I'll be one of them. But I certainly think there is a good time and place to have your real identity known, and at least YouTube is allowing you to select certain videos and certain comments to be seen publicly. It's not all or nothing.
As always, there will be more changes along these lines coming soon, along with more ways to use the username is the future. Google has a help document with additional information on how to do this here - http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2663685
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