YouTube allowed a custom nickname too, if you were persistent. But as much as I tried, it never let me actually pick the the first 5 attempts. I now have 6 alternate identities which are *exactly the same 11-letter name*. But the 6th one stuck, and YouTube still logs in with it. G+ I only use to stay in touch with a minimal subset of developers, so my real name isn't a problem. I was confused by circles disappearing and being replaced with communities, though. It's not just their policies which need some tweaks, but also their interfaces.