Bradley Horowitz, VP of Google , said today that users would have the option this week to add a nickname, maiden name, scripted name, or any other additional name to their profiles. However, this is only an additional field and doesn’t replace the standard first name / last name that’s required for Google ; we presume the company will still be suspending or flagging profiles with nonstandard names.

Google rolling out support for nicknames and pseudonyms this week | The Verge

Why is this a big deal. Simply for the reason it allows Google+ users to continue using their online persona, long a tradition on the Internet. However, Google has insisted this does not replace the requirement for a user’s first/last name. That requirement is so Google can guarantee each user is real and not just an emtpy account.

While social media outlets will continue to tout their user numbers, they also know the most important one is actual users. This is just an instance of Google keeping that in the fore.