In the past month, Google has gotten serious about the adoption of its social network. Today, a requirement that only real names and identities could be used to create accounts on Google+ has been overturned.

Over the next week Google+ will add support that will allow users to sign up using nicknames, pseudonyms, maiden names, and other identities. The previous policy wasn’t well received by those that use names other than their given names in both off and online spaces.

This name will appear on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards that appear over your name. Over the next few weeks the name will also show up in other areas of Google+. It’s important to note that when you change your name in Google+ that you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile.

To update your name, while on your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, select your name, and click on more options. From there you can enter your alternate name and choose how it will be displayed. Currently it’s not possible to go by just your nickname, but the option hasn’t been ruled out of future iterations. Google+’s VP of Product Bradley Horowitz alluded to future changes by stating that, “we don’t consider ourselves finished here,” in his post on Google+.

If your alternate name gets flagged you’ll be required to provide Google with information that confirms the use of that identity. This includes an established identity offline in print media, scanned official documentation – such as a driver’s license – or proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following.

While this might not lead to a surge in user sign-ups, it will certainly benefit anyone with a personal brand or known under a different name on other platforms or in print. For example, if you go as “Larry the Tax Guy” your Google+ profile can now reflect that.

For more information about the naming process, check out the Google+ Names Policy.

[Via: VentureBeat, Image credit: Mykl Roventine]