Google+ is now available for teenagers. Unlike some of its competitors, Google always insisted that the users of its social network were 18 or older, Today, however, the company lifted these restrictions and teenagers (13+) can now sign up for accounts as well. To support this change, Google also introduced a number of new safety features that are meant to keep teens safe.
New Safety Measures for Teens
As Google's Bradley Horowitz notes, "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.'" To avoid this, Google+ now pops up a little warning that warns teenagers when they are about to share something publicly on Google+. Given that Google had its own problems with responsible adults also sharing content outside of their circles, maybe the company should display this message for adult users as well, though.
In addition, Google also ensures that Hangouts – the video calling and group chat feature on Google+ – remain relatively safe for teens by automatically kicking the young adult off the chat when a stranger outside of a teen's circle joins the hangout.
Some parents, however, aren't quite happy with these changes, especially because teens can still post publicly if they want to do so and because they can still join public hangouts hosted by others, it seems.