Instagram wants to create an age-appropriate experience for its audience. For that reason, it is now requiring new users to input their birthdays when creating an account. The age of the user might have different privacy settings or in-app information.
Will Other Users Know Their Birthdays
No. Other users will not know their birthdays. But new users must be at least 13 to join the platform.
Before, Instagram has not asked for users’ birthdays when registering. In the European Union, however, minors must submit their birthdays. This will comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR).
How to Verify
Existing members will not be required to enter their age. Instagram is not yet sure whether or not asking them would be too intrusive. It will also not verify whether the birthday given is correct.
Instagram cannot verify whether or not young users are telling their real birthdays. But it expects that the majority of users will be honest about their birthdates. AI could soon verify their ages.
Employees of Instagram can also estimate users’ age by reading through the posts of the users that say, “Happy birthday.” It has machine learning software that can predict the users’ gender and age. This software is looking at the posts of the people and analyzes the hashtags they are using for data.
But many criticized Instagram’s plan. Asking users to reveal their unverifiable data of birth cannot protect kids from age-inappropriate content. Future regulation will compel platforms to take vital steps in protecting children’s accounts proactively.
Facebook understands that not all users will share their actual age. But Facebook is not the only platform that faces this challenge. Rather, all online services are still exploring their options on how to find the best way to verify users’ age.
Instagram and Facebook have been criticized because of its failure to implement rules that will say that users are 13 or over. Millions of underage kids are using these platforms.
Instagram users can also begin to block messages from individuals they do not follow. Business accounts can also restrict minors from viewing their posts.
According to Instagram, these updates are part of its ongoing commitment to making sure that the platform is a safe and supportive place for youngest individuals. With these updates, Instagram can sell more ads and make them age-appropriate. As the platform knows how old the users are, it can target ads with more confidence.
These updates may also help lower bullying cases on the platform. And teens cannot see alcohol ads on their feeds.