New users of Instagram will be required to submit their date of birth in an effort to safeguard youngsters and deliver more age-appropriate experiences
New users of Instagram will be required to hand over their date of birth, as part of its plan to deliver more “age-appropriate experiences.”
The photo-sharing network, which was purchased by Facebook back in 2012 for $1 billion (£779m), already has a rule that users have to be at least 13 years old in order to create an account.
But the reality is that children younger than 13 years old are often on social networks and photo sharing apps before that legal requirement.
Date of birth
Instagram said it was making the change in an effort to make Instagram “safer for the youngest members in our community.”
“Starting today, we will be asking for your date of birth when creating an account on Instagram,” it said in a blog post. “Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall.”
It assure users that date of birth date will not be visible to others on Instagram.
“If you’ve connected your Facebook account to your Instagram account, we will add the date of birth that’s on your Facebook profile,” said Instgram. “This is not public information and only you will be able to see it when viewing your own account information on Instagram. Editing your date of birth on Facebook will also change it on Instagram.”
And it seems that the photo-sharing service wants to deliver more age-appropriate and safer experiences for its one billion or so users. For example gambling adverts will not be targetted at younger members.
“In the coming months, we will use the birthday information you share with us to create more tailored experiences, such as education around account controls and recommended privacy settings for young people,” it said.
It also added that it is taking steps to help users control who can send you direct messages on Instagram, as another safeguarding measure for youngsters.
Of course, how effective this date of birth requirement will be remains to be seen, as Instagram will not verify user’s birthdates.
Instead it seems that Instagram expects users to be honest about their birthdates.
However it did hint that it could eventually use artificial intelligence to aid verification.