Google+…minus women, kids, and businesses

on the outsGoogle+ is great–but it’s apparently not for everyone. While Google might be universal, its social networking site has clearly evaded some users. And though certain demographics have been left out in the cold unintentionally, others have been ignored by design. What’s mildly troubling is the fact the Google+ is busy taking suggestions and criticisms for Google+…via Google+. Which means that the very people being left out are largely unable or disinclined to add their voice to this conversation. Here’s who Google+ should need and want on board–and why.

Women

Last week we heard that women made up a measly 11-percent of Google+. While that number was debated and then updated to a whopping 18-percent, it’s still blindingly obvious that men have taken to Google+ at a pace outranking the fairer sex.

So where are all the Google+ ladies at? Women traditionally make up a significant, if not majority, portion of social networking sites: They account for approximately 58-percent of Facebook and 64-percent of Twitter. LinkedIn is the only other social networking site to be populated by mostly men–which actually says something about Google+.

We’ve already argued that the site has created a more professional, insight-oriented atmosphere than its social counterparts. If we’re correct, then this could mean that women tend to stray from business-type social networks. But honestly, that conclusion is a little too easy and way too cliché.

We’re more apt to attribute the gender gap to the fact that men tend to be early adopters of new technology, and Google+ falls inside this realm. Or how about the fact that the majority of Gmail users are men? It’s safe to say that Gmail loyalists were likely to jump on the Google+ train faster than the average Internet user. The ladies are on their way–just give it time. And Google undoubtedly wants them, given the fact that women are traditionally more invested in their social networking accounts.

Teens

Teenagers might be a different story, however. While Google+ is definitely not trying to keep women out of its social network (and considering which users are most active on Facebook, that would be just plain stupid), we do think it might want the 18 and under crowd to steer clear. In order to create a Google Profile, you have to be at least 18-years-old: “You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google, or (b) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States or other countries including the country in which you are resident or from which you use the Services.”

A couple things: Barring teenagers goes right along with the more mature aura Google+ has cultivated compared to Facebook and Twitter (so far). It also could keep Google out of some of the trouble Facebook’s found itself in with minors. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that 7.5 million Facebook users are under the minimum age requirement of 13. This sparked outrage over the possibility that children were being potentially exposed to online bullying, or far worse situations via the site. It also meant that the under-aged users could be exposing the family computer to malware spread through Facebook applications.

For Google+, no kids means it avoids these issues altogether. It also means it won’t be able to post the same user numbers Facebook does, though. And given teens’ incredibly Internet-focused lives and how very dear their eyes are to advertisers, it might be sacrificing quite a bit.

It’s just a hunch, but we feel like adding applications like Games and Questions hints that Google+ might be targeting younger users for its future.

Businesses

The moment Google+ hit, businesses were ready to get their pages up and running. Of course, Google had other ideas and quickly banished them from the site. But given the reaction, Google+ now seems to be doing everything it can to get business pages up and running as quickly as possible.

There’s been some negative backlash to the fact that Google+ didn’t have its business page act together from the get go, and we’re a little baffled as to why it didn’t. Given its investment in Places, HotPot, and Google Offers, a natural progression seems to be integrating retailers into its big, long-planned social site.

“We prioritized making a great experience for people first. None of our internal models showed this level of growth. We were caught flat-footed. This growth is very enticing for people/brands who crave an audience. We are doing all we can to accelerate the work to properly handle this case. Please give us just a little more time,” senior VP of engineering Vic Gundotra says.

Still, it’s going to be a matter of months before business pages are up and running, which means that retailers using Facebook for promotion will definitely not be making the switch yet.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Cars

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Gaming

EA is losing out on the true potential of Titanfall studio with ‘Apex Legends’

Apex Legends is a solid battle royale game, but one can’t shake the feeling that its creation was dictated by Respawn’s new owners: Electronic Arts. In the process, the studio’s soul could be lost.
Gaming

The 'Anthem' demo's crash landing raises more questions than answers

Bioware bravely allowed gamers to see a large chunk of 'Anthem' over two demo weekends, but it backfired. Lackluster missions, performance issues, and muddled messaging over micro-transactions leaves the game with an uphill battle.
Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.
Gaming

Apex Legends proves battle royale is no fad. In fact, it’s just getting started

Apex Legends came out of nowhere to take the top spot as battle royale in 2019, and it now looks as if it'll be the biggest game of the year. Its sudden success proves the battle royale fad still has plenty of life left in it.
Home Theater

How the headphone jack helps Samsung out-Apple the king

Samsung’s latest flagship phones and wearables unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event had plenty of exciting new tech. But one of the most useful features Samsung revealed is also the oldest: The mighty headphone jack.
Gaming

Age of Empires II thrives 20 years later. Here's what Anthem could learn from it

Age Of Empires II is approaching its 20th birthday. It has a loyal following that has grown over the past five years. New always-online games like Anthem would love to remain relevant for so long, but they have a problem. They're just not…
Gaming

Devil May Cry is Fantastic, but I still want a DmC: Devil May Cry sequel

Capcom's Devil May Cry 5 is one of the best games of 2019 and a welcome return for the series, but its success should not discount just how wonderful Ninja Theory's DmC: Devil May Cry really was.
Smart Home

Alexa may be everywhere, but it’s Google’s Assistant I want in my home. Here’s why

The Amazon Alexa may have the Google Home beat in quantity of skills and compatibility with other products, but does that really matter when Alexa falls flat for day-to-day conversation?
Gaming

DMC 5’s greatness is a reminder of all the open world games that wasted my time

Devil May Cry 5 modernizes the stylish action combat while retaining its storied PS2 roots. More so, though, it reminded me that we could sure use more linear, single player games to combat the sea of open world games.
Gaming

Don't get the hype over Fortnite? Let us change your mind

Fortnite arrived very quietly but after launching Battle Royale mode it became a cultural phenomenon. Today, Fortnite is one of the most content prolific online games and it's starting to change the meta.