The next time you try to comment on a video or upload one, YouTube will ask you if you want to drop your username and start using your real one.
The world’s most popular online video service has begun a push to move away from anonymity and become more uniform with other Google services, notably Google+, by having you use your actual name.
While you don’t have to switch to your real name, YouTube will ask you for a little explanation when you try to tell it no. First you must click a button saying “I don’t want to use my full name.” Then, you have to tell the service your reason for not switching, which could be that your channel is for a brand, organization or you can say “I’m not sure, I’ll decide later.”
If you choose to stick with your username but later change your mind, you can head to your settings under your account name on the top right corner. Once there, click “Advanced” located below your email address, and then click “Begin using my full name on YouTube.”
YouTube did not say whether or not it is possible to switch back or edit your username if you do decide to use your full name. The video service also did not say whether or not new users will be forced to use their full names or will be allowed to use pseudonyms if they’d like.
[Update, July 24, 2:37 p.m.: A spokeswoman said YouTube will let people change their usernames back if they decide to start using their full name. She also said new users can still set their YouTube name however they want. The prompt comes up only for users who have a Google+ profile.]