Google announced a week or so ago that any new Google accounts will be signed up for Google+, by default. Since the minimum age for a Gmail account is 13, this change in Google+ is most likely an effort to bridge that gap.
This move puts Google+’s age restrictions more in line with many of the other major social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Changing the minimum age may lead to a number of digital marketing implications, including:
1) More Brands – Adding teenagers to Google+ will certainly attract more than a few new brands to set up shop with business pages- brands like toy makers will be giving Google+ pages another look.
2) School Usage – The combination of hangouts, docs, search and circles make Google+ the perfect platform for classroom collaboration.
3) Renewed Focus on Privacy – In Horowitz’ announcement, he mentions a new Google+ Safety Center. With social networks directly in the cross-hairs of a number of Federal governments these days, the last thing Google wants to do is cause themselves more trouble. We will undoubtedly see a renewed focus on privacy and the importance of circle usage.
What do you think? Should teens be allowed to have Google+ profiles? What impact do you think the change will have on the network?