YouTube Wants Your Real Name


YouTube now wants to know your real identity, not just your nickname. In efforts to create a ‘single unified product’ Google is self-canonicalising at every possible step and this is just one of them.

While editing one of my recent videos, I was offered to used my real name instead of my YouTube nickname:


As you can see my real identity was sourced from Google+ (which is known to reject profiles with made up names). This shows that Google wishes to have better understanding of users which represent nodes in their social graph.

In the next step the change is illustrated to users explaining this will also affect their videos, comments, likes, favourites and subscriptions:


“dejansvideos > Dan Petrovic”

Once you click “Update my name” the process is finalised and on the next screen you can see the confirmation message:


“You are now using your fill name on YouTube”

Will we start seeing more real people with real identities on YouTube? What will this do to the community dynamics and will this be the end of trolling? Probably not. For starters Google+ is growing nicely but has not reached the stage where it would have wide enough impact to affect the YouTube community.

I see the name switch as an option for professionals and producers, benefits of the switch are yet to be seen. To my knowledge there is no way to reverse this choice once initiated.

My YouTube channel URL remains the same:

Have you been offered the same?

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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One Response to “YouTube Wants Your Real Name”

  1. As always, thanks for sharing Dan! Love the real step-by-step examples!

    For those that don’t get the automatic pop-up offering, you can change this manually by going to “Account Settings>Overview>Advanced” and clicking on “Begin Using my full name on YouTube”.

    • Matthew Forzan

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