extended from stackoverflow

Some applications use usernames and some don't. Some allow changing of usernames and some don't. I would like to know the pros and cons of allowing users to change their usernames and what are the rules that usually goes with it like minimum of 1 month before every change or a maximum of 5 changes.

Below are what I have come up so far.

  • facebook - yes
  • twitter - yes
  • imgur - yes
  • reddit - no
  • google - yes
  • youtube - yes (channels)
  • deviantart - no
  • instagram - yes
  • pinterest - yes
  • steam - no

I was hesitant to post my opinions on the matter as I would not like to influence the answers that I might get but since some have given out some downvotes below are my initial thoughts.


  • more security on accounts
  • people could hide from other people
  • safer account management


  • users could steal other usernames
  • users could get away from misconduct
  • users would have a hard time finding each other
  • more complex database

What are the things you need to consider to allow your users to change their usernames? Like If its in the case of a social network, most of them do allow changing. When it comes to e-commerce sites most of them don't.

  • Asking for lists of pros and cons is too broad (and likely to be closed). Instead, can you provide a specific context in which you're wondering about changing usernames? (For example a username on a social site could be very different from a username on an ecommerce site.) – Graham Herrli Sep 15 '14 at 17:30
  • Thank you for pointing that out. I have edited my question. – Gene Diaz Sep 15 '14 at 17:37

Example: user's real-life name has changed.

In many systems, a username is based on the user's proper name, e.g. given name initial plus family name "jsmith"; over time, these users may change their names, and wish their system username to change to match.

One particularly sensitive example is if a person divorces, and reverts from their married name to their birth name ‒ in which case, they may strongly wish to remove the married name from their system username.

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