Google’s latest announcement might not directly impact your social media strategy, but it could make it harder for those of you using Internet Explorer to track your website’s analytics. According to the company, its Analytics service will stop supporting version 8 and earlier of the browser at the end of the year.

“We decided to do this to both accelerate the pace at which we can innovate new product features, and to facilitate adoption of newer web technologies in the design of the Google Analytics product,” explained Google. “Our ultimate goal is to provide a superior user experience for every GA user.”

Google Analytics will continue to support the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explore 9 or higher, Safari, and other modern browsers. The company noted that it will also continue to measure traffic from IE8 browsers to your website, which is especially important considering that IE8 is still the world’s most popular browser.

This is likely due to the fact that Windows XP users can’t upgrade to the newest versions of Microsoft’s browser. We should also note that if you’re using a Windows Vista or Windows 7 machine, IE9 is the only browser available to you. At the same time, IE10 and IE11 are only for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

As you might know, Sprout Social also supports Google Analytics, enabling you to track your website traffic sources, popular posts, and search terms through our management tool. The web version of Sprout Social currently supports IE9 and IE10, the last two versions of Firefox and Chrome, as well as Safari 5 and 6.

While an exact date for the change in support isn’t available yet, Google did say it’s giving GA users more than three months to prepare. If you’re still using IE8, that means you have until at least December 16th to upgrade or switch browsers.

[Via: The Next Web, Image credit: Markus Tacker]