Instagram has extended its age verification tools to more countries as a test. The expansion to more countries including Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Japan, and more countries in Europe was announced on Thursday by Andy Stone Meta’s head of Communications in a tweet.
This is part of Meta’s long-term plan to improve its process of clarifying and confirming user ages, and also limit their exposure while using the Instagram app.
“Sarting today, we’re beginning to expand our Instagram age verification test to Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Japan, and more countries in Europe. This builds on an expansion to India and Brazil we announced in October, with more countries coming in the next few months.”
The tool was first announced sometime in June 2022, but its roll out was only limited to US users alone at the time. Today’s announcement, however, means that more users in more regions can now access it.
The minimum age for new users on Instagram is13; but that is one rule the company has made little or no effort to enforce over the years. As a matter of fact, the company did not consider age verification a matter of priority until 2019; but its efforts have never been deemed to be sufficient enough by critics.
Users are usually asked to verify their age by sending in pictures of various IDs; and this happens when teenagers try to edit their birth date to show they are indeed 18 or older. The new tool, however, gives users additional options including, social vouching and AI estimation. Both options are now open to users in the US.
What is Social Vouching?
With social vouching, Instagram will ask three mutual followers of the user to confirm how old you are. The mutual followers, however, will have to be older than 18, and will have to respond to Instagram’s request within three days.
What is AI Estimation?
With AI estimation, a user will have to send a video selfie to a third-party company, Yoti, which makes use of machine learning to estimate a person’s age. Yoti is a well-known face recognition company that uses various facial signals to estimate your real age.
Yoti says it does not retain any data your share with it; the assurance is needed considering how skeptical people are when it comes to this kind of technology.