BrandArena: Instagram Will Now Require Users to Enter Their Birth Date to Protect Younger Users

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Instagram Will Now Require Users to Enter Their Birth Date to Protect Younger Users

Instagram is taking the next steps in its effort to better protect younger users, in line with coming regulatory changes, by asking all users who’ve not previously entered their date of birth to do so in the app.

According to a post from the Facebook-owned social media site on August 26, 2021. The app update is meant to pave the way for new safety features aimed at younger users so if you haven’t already informed it of your birthday, Instagram will start to ask you for that information when you open the app. You’ll receive a handful of reminder notifications, according to Instagram, but if you haven’t provided your birthday by a certain point, you won’t be able to use the app.

Instagram plans to use birthday information to restrict advertiser targeting options for users under 18 years of age, as well as requiring age confirmation before viewing posts that might be sensitive or graphic. The service, which first began asking about birthdays in 2019, says it recognizes that users might try to falsify information. 

As explained by Instagram: “We’ve been clear that we want to do more to create safer, more private experiences for young people. To do that we need to know how old everybody is on Instagram, so we’ve started asking people to share their birthday with us if they haven’t shared it previously.”

“As we shared recently, we’re using artificial intelligence to estimate how old people are based on things like “Happy Birthday” posts. In the future, if someone tells us they’re above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we’ll show them a menu of options to verify their age. This work is still in the early stages, and we look forward to sharing more soon.”

The company has also said it will switch to making younger teens’ accounts private by default and has limited advertisers’ ability to target the demographic. It also recently introduced features to prevent adult strangers from messaging teens. Instagram has also said it’s in the early stages of thinking about a version of its service for users under the age of 13, which has prompted concern from lawmakers and other officials.

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