Google is trying hard to wrestle social network users from Facebook. It has received widespread criticism for its recent change to its search engine, which prominently promotes Google+, sometimes even at the expense of altering natural search results.
Just six months since its inception, Google+ has accumulated a whopping 90 million users, but there’s one segment of users that remained untapped — teens. Teen users account for around 20 percent of all Facebook users, according to the data published by KenBurbary.com, citing InsideFacebook (unverified by me).
Regardless of the validity of the data, considering the 800 million-strong active user base of Facebook, even a mere 10% would make up 80 million users, which is a big deal compared to Google+’s total users of 90 million.
Unfortunately, Google+ wasn’t able to attract any of these users, since it had imposed an age requirement of 18 or older. That’s changing. Starting today, users aged 13 or older are allowed to join Google+. The Mountain View-based company had also put several safety measures in place to protect its teen users on the network.
Among others, teen users would be advised to think twice before posting any content publicly. Also, they will be disconnected from a Hangout whenever anyone outside their circles join the session. Re-joining the Hangout will be just a button away.
Google+ rival, Facebook, has long been available to teen users. However, some parents still do not fancy the idea of their kids being on Facebook, including First Lady Michelle Obama. Will parents think differently on Google+’s approach?
Photo credit: Skokie Public Library