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Google+ Now Opens for Teens

All those fall between 13 and 18 years of age will be pleased to hear that they can now join Google+. Thanks to the search giant who has made necessary security improvements to its social network to make it useable for the teenagers. This has been announced by Bradley Horowitz, the Vice President of Product at Google.

Prior to this, you need to be at least 18 or older in order to join the social network of Google. It seems that the initiative is taken to match up with Facebook that requires users to be 13 or older to join the social network. Horowitz said:

Teens and young adults are the most active Internet users on the planet. 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. Unfortunately, online sharing is still second-rate for this age group.

In life, for instance, teens can share the right things with just the right people (like classmates, parents or close ties). Over time, the nuance and richness of selective sharing even promotes authenticity and accountability. Sadly, today’s most popular online tools are rigid and brittle by comparison, so teens end up over-sharing with all of their so-called “friends.”

With Google+, we want to help teens build meaningful connections online. We also want to provide features that foster safety alongside self-expression. Today we’re doing both, for everyone who’s old enough for a Google Account (13+ in most countries).

Following improvements has been made by Google in its Google+ to make it appropriate for the teenage users:

  • A warning appears whenever a teenage user share with ‘Public’ or ‘Extended Circles’.
  • Only the people in teens’ circles can communicate with them and their posts (By default).
  • Teens will automatically be muted if a stranger joins a hangout.

A Safety Center has been created by the search giant with a view to support its new move to bring teens and teen-focused content to its social networking site. The Safety Center can be reviews by parents along with their teenage children before they begin using the service.

Google with a view to promote its social platform has started spending on marketing as well, particularly on television. In order to become a successful platform, the service needs to appeal the people of all ages. But what I personally believe Google is bit late on catching up with Facebook when it comes to younger users. The social networking giant Facebook has a host of apps and an active user base of over 800 million. Google has yet to introduce features that will attract Facebook users towards it. The search giant still needs to go a long way in order to become a true competitor of Facebook.

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