Blizzard has revealed a preview of the Real ID feature introduced in Battle.net 2.0 as an optional way to keep track of your friends regardless of which game, realm, or character they are playing.
A New Way to Connect With Your Friends on Battle.net
One of our goals for the new Battle.net is to create the framework for an online gaming experience that is even more accessible, more engaging, and more entertaining than the previous Battle.net. Our new Real ID feature is an integral part of this effort, providing you with advanced ways for forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with your friends on the service.
Real ID is a completely voluntary and optional level of identity that keeps players connected across all of Battle.net. When you and a friend mutually agree to become Real ID friends, you'll have access to a number of additional features that will enrich your social gaming experience in new and exciting ways.
Read the Real ID FAQ for additional details.
Real Names for Friends
Your Real ID friends will appear under their real-life names on your friends list, alongside whatever characters they're playing. Gone are the days of having to remember which of your friends is which. You'll also see your friends' real names when chatting, communicating in-game, or viewing their character's profile.
With Real ID, friends can now chat cross-game, cross-realm, and cross-faction across all supported Blizzard games. In World of Warcraft and need more players for your Icecrown Citadel raid? You check your Real ID friends list to see if anyone's available, and sure enough, a couple of guildmates are playing a 2v2 ranked match in StarCraft II. Real ID makes it easy to ask them to come along.
See additional information on your friends list about what your Real ID friends are up to. Find out what your friends are doing and which games and modes they're playing in real time. Invite that buddy just sitting around in Dalaran to play some StarCraft II with you without fear of interrupting a raid or a heated Wintergrasp match.
Broadcast a short status message for all of your Real ID friends to see, whether you want to issue a call-to-arms or let your friends know about an important change of plans. You can also read your friends' broadcast messages on the "Recent Broadcasts" feed on the Battle.net welcome page -- kind of a "corkboard" to leave messages to your friends when offline or busy.
Friend Once, See All Characters
When you agree to become Real ID friends with another player, both of you will automatically see all the other's characters on your friends list. You'll even see any characters your friend creates in future Blizzard games, carrying your social network forward and helping you stay connected with the people you enjoy playing with most.