EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2651 - October 13, 2011     1 of 4

Etsy Moves Forward with Plans to Display Real Names of Users

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Etsy updated its privacy policy and said beginning next week, it would begin showing members' full name if they chose to provide it. Users will continue to have the option of using their username instead of their real name.

When Etsy disclosed in April its plans to display users names in discussion forums, many users spoke out against the policy (see this EcommerceBytes Blog post).

However, Etsy spokesperson Adam Brown said displaying full names, which is 100% optional, is not the focus of the changes. "We're separating user identity and shops to fulfill a long-requested feature that shop owners be able to change their shop names. We've also taken care to give our members plenty of time to prepare for these changes."

Brown said if a member chooses not to provide their full name, their username will be displayed instead.

Sellers will also be allowed to change the name of their shop, which Etsy said was one of the biggest shopowner requests. Starting October 18, 2011, shop owners will now be displayed as a person who owns a shop rather than just displaying their username and shop name,. Shop owners can enter their full name, if they choose to, which will be displayed with their shop name and link when they participate in Forums, Teams and other areas of the site.

Brown also said the changes have been well-received by Etsy members already, pointing to a discussion thread. "We've also received many emails from members who are very excited about the changes, and the additional features that we plan to release. We're excited about them too, because it makes navigation easier for shoppers, and also gives shop owners more space to represent themselves."

Over the coming months, Etsy users will also be able to share their Etsy content with friends on sites like Facebook and Twitter. "In order to support services powered by third parties like Facebook and Twitter we are expanding the information we share with them," Etsy told users in an email on Wednesday.

More information was provided in Wednesday's blog post about the changes "when you connect your Etsy account to a third-party application or social site, you can grant or revoke permission for that connection. When you load a page on Etsy that contains a social plug-in, such as the Like button, you are also loading content from that third-party social site."

Update 10/13/11: Updated to add comments from Etsy spokesperson Adam Brown.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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