When Google's Vic Gundotra said the company wanted to use Google+ as the backbone of its web presence, he meant it. The company's YouTube blog has just announced that users will be able to switch their current usernames to their Google+ profiles. Google's couching this in the language of a unified identity, suggesting that users' friends might be missing out on their work or just that they're tired of being known as "cutepuppies99." It's also, however, obliquely acknowledging the notoriety of YouTube comments and those who make them. Before changing their settings, users can review their comments and videos to make sure they're comfortable associating them with a real name. It's also possible to associate the Google+ account while continuing to use your old name.
New users have already been able to sign up with a Google+ account, but the service is now open to existing personal accounts, and Google promises you'll have "more options for how your videos are seen and discovered on YouTube" if you make the switch. So far, it's only in the US, and partners, brands and organizations will not yet see the options. However, an international rollout is planned soon.