By Joseph Mayton, Tech Times | August 19, 2:56 PM
Children under the age of 13 may soon be allowed to have a Google email account if Google moves forward on plans to open up email and other services to the youngest segment of society.
If it comes into play Google said parents would remain integral to how the service is used for their child.
The move aims to introduce the company's services to a younger population, and many experts believe this is directly linked to the continued efforts by advertisers and marketers to get access to all ages. Young children are a major advertising segment and if successful, Google could open up new online advertising channels previously dormant.
According to reports, the search giant is working on a new version of YouTube that would be aimed at the younger population and is hoping to have in place child-friendly accounts, including Gmail, for children to better learn and use the Internet.
Currently, it is forbidden to collect or use information about children under 13, according to the U.S. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and that has seen large companies like Google and Facebook bar those under 13 from signing up.
It follows the successful "Instagram for kids," or Kuddle, that allows parents oversight and better control of what their children are viewing on the photo sharing service. The company has raised $2 million for expansion across the U.S. recently.
Despite the large number of media reports on the Google Child idea, a spokesman for the company, Peter Barron, did not comment on what he referred to as "rumors and speculation."
It also follows Google's purchase of Jetpac, the maker of social travel apps, as it continues to look for new means of expansion and revenue generation, Tech Times reports.
Google is likely to use Jetpac as a means of improving their location-based information using photo data, which should help users and advertisers pinpoint more accurately what's in their library.
"We can spot lipstick, blue sky views, hipster mustaches and more, through advanced image processing on billions of photos," it boasts on its site. It curates those images into Jetpac City Guides, which it calls visual guides to local recommendations "for over 6,000 cities all around the world, from San Francisco to Kathmandu."
And with children now becoming a major focus, the efforts by Google to get millions more users online could be a huge boost for the bottom line.