Google Plus continues to get more open bit by bit, and just today made the service available to teens age 13 and up. Previously, Google Plus was restricted to people 18 and up. Along with the wave of new teenagers, Google Plus is also getting new privacy and security features--a fairly important thing if the service is to become something parents encourage their children to use.
Google is probably doing the slow rollout on purpose. This is their third or fourth wave of opening the service up. Each time it's followed by new statistics on membership, and this time will be no different. Millions of teens are going to sign up in the near future.
Google Plus Opens To Teens
Google Plus is now open to everyone 13 and up, and I'm guessing there will be plenty of takers.
This kind of news should be music to a video marketer's ears, because teenagers are among the most avid video consumers. They're also much more prone to social activity, with most of today's teenagers having grown up with mobile devices, Facebook, and Twitter.
The influx of teenagers 13 and up to Google Plus means the demographic will change almost overnight. It should also make Google Plus a more attractive social video marketing tool for brands and businesses--particularly those that create content known to appeal to teenagers: I'm thinking about action-oriented brands like Go Pro and Red Bull, music videos and music industry brands, movie trailers, etc.
New Google Plus Security Features
Google Plus has also rolled out a wave of new privacy-related "enhancements," and most are related to the new teen users:
- When teens attempt to post something to the public--outside their circles--Google Plus will, by default, give them a quick warning to think before they share.
- Only people in teens' circles can send notifications and say hello--no strangers allowed. A teen user will need to add another user to a circle to interact with them.
- If a stranger joins a Google Plus Hangout that has a teen user in it, Google Plus will automatically remove the young adult from the video chat--giving them a chance to rejoin, obviously. This is a default action to help ensure Hangouts isn't used for nefarious purposes, and I think it's a smart one.
- There's also a new Google Plus Safety Center, with all kinds of information about how the service is set up for security and how to manage your own privacy settings.
Google is smart to open up to one of the largest demographics for social media, and even smarter to roll out some cool default privacy settings to go with it. What about you? Do you have any teens in your household who have been waiting to join Google Plus? Do you market videos that appeal to the teen demographic, and if so do you think this move will mean you end up using Google Plus more?