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.

closed as too broad by Graham Herrli, Charles Wesley, K.., Matt Obee, Bart Gijssens Sep 17 '14 at 10:45

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 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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