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YouTube partners can now choose Google+ profiles, use real names

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Google's summer push to encourage YouTubers to properly identify themselves made a big jump forward today. According to an announcement on the YouTube Creator blog, YouTube partners now have the opportunity to opt in and change their channel names over to their real names.

"Opting in allows you to replace your username with your Google+ profile name (spaces included!), replace your photo with any you've uploaded, and include a direct link to your profile," Google staffer David Boyle wrote in the announcement.

"This provides you with a seamless way to connect with and be discovered by your audience across YouTube and Google."

The opt in option is great news for people like YouTube songwriter Rob Scallon, who long had to endure the username "robs70986987," but Boyle stressed that the development may not be for everyone.

"Currently, YouTube only supports using a Google+ profile identity, which is designed for individuals who want to use their real names," he wrote.

"If your channel is built around a brand or organization, and you want to use that name instead, you should wait until Google+ Pages are available to be connected with channels. (We’re working hard on that, too.)"

In short: Wing Girls, Mystery Guitar Man, and Black Nerd Comedy need not apply.

For those who do plan to opt in, switching over to your Google+ profile is easy: Just click on the advanced section of your account settings and click on the option to "Begin using my full name on YouTube."

Photo via SashaFatCat/Flickr