Dear Person ...

Been directed here by someone? 
Then you may need help with your Google+ "profile name".

This is the default picture for profiles.
If you don't have that icon now, then you have changed your profile picture to a kitten or similar, but it's what you got when you "created" your profile.

What exactly are profiles?

Profiles are Google's identity offering for "people".

Hey reader: are you a person? Of course!

To use Google+ (and YouTube*) you will need a profile that uses your real name.

When you "created" your profile you will have been asked to set your name, there is no "default name". If you upgraded an account you would have been asked to confirm your name.

If your profile doesn't use your "real name" i.e. it does not comply with Google's real name policy for profiles, then your profile will be suspended and you won't be able to use the account "socially" pending an appeal.

For all those shouting: "But I don't want to use my real name!" don't panic.
You are not being "forced" to use Google+ under your real name: you can use a Page. You can also hide your "real name profile" in search.

To use Google+ with something other than your real name you can create a Page, which you do from your profile. You can call the page more or less anything you want.

A page represents "non person" things. Things ranging from major Brands with many page managers, to organisations, businesses or places through to "other selves", or alter egos.

If you have been "pinkfairy712" since before puberty and would prefer to continue trolling engaging under the same pseudonym you can do so by setting up a Page from your Profile and then use that.

Take a moment and take look at yourself in the mirror ...
That person in the mirror, does the profile you have been using represent that person?

If not then please change it!

Stop! An important last word on name changing.

Names are not hairstyles. Don't mess around "trying out" different names. Names don't change often in the real world! There are name change limits for profiles & pages.

A lot of people end up in the Google+ Help Community making "help I can't change my name?!" posts. Don't end up being one of them!

*Non Google+ connected YouTube channels have partial functionality. 

If you have any further questions or comments about profile names do ask them, or leave a message, in the comments!

If you have questions on Google+ generally, post your question in the official Google+ Help community. If it's related to custom URLs read this post first.

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