Google+ is now accepting teenagers aged 13 and up in the U.S. and most other countries, as it seeks to expand the footprint of its fledgling social network.
Google+ is now
accepting teenage members
aged 13 and up in most countries, giving the social
network a major demographic to target as it seeks to grow its current user base
of 90 million users
Twitter and Facebook have also set 13 as the minimum age users can
join their social networks, so in a sense Google is simply following their lead.
While most teens worldwide can
join at 13, Google set the minimum age for new members at 14 in Spain and South
Korea, and 16 in the Netherlands.
"Teens and young adults are the most active Internet
users on the planet," explained Bradley Horowitz, Google's vice president of product management for
. "And surprise, surprise: They're also human beings who enjoy
spending time with friends and family. Put these two things together, and it's
clear that teens will increasingly connect online."
Google is taking care to make sure teens share what they
want to share in the right context, a bid to staunch the gross oversharing on
social networks between teen connections who may be more acquaintances than
To wit, when teens go to share outside the Circles
they've created, Google+ will encourage them to think before they post.
encourage safe information sharing among teens, Google has made it so that only
those teens' Circles can contact each other via chat sessions.
There are other areas where the discretionary sharing
controls are more dicey. For example, if a stranger outside a teen's Circle
joins an ongoing Hangout video chat session, Google+ temporarily removes the
teen while the stranger is active in the session.
Google also announced several new Google+ Pages teens
might be interested in, including 106
and Park, Ashley Tisdale, Big Time Rushm Cody Simpson, Teen Vogue and Glee.
Google's welcoming of teens to its social network came
two days after the company announced
it will support nicknames and some vetted pseudonyms.