Instagram tests two new methods for age verification; move will provide age-appropriate content to children

Meta Inc’s social media platform Instagram on Thursday (June 23) announced that it’s currently exploring new ways for its users to verify their age, starting with the United States. In addition to letting users upload their pictures, Instagram is testing two new techniques to confirm a user’s age. In order to protect users’ privacy and data, the app announced its partnership with Yoti, a business that specialises in online age verification. Yoti’s technology uses facial features to determine a user’s age when they upload selfies. As per Instagram, once the picture is verified the photograph will be removed from Meta and Yoti, as reported by Reuters.

Another choice is to choose three mutual followers who can attest to the user’s age; the three followers chosen must all be at least 18 years old. 

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Erica Finkle, director of data governance at Meta said, “When we know if someone is a teen (13-17 years), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.”

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This move comes after the app delayed the debut of Instagram Kids last year due to negative feedback and backlash.

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Instagram Kids was billed as a requirement for parental consent to join and promised ad-free, age-appropriate content, but US lawmakers pushed the company to abandon its launch plans over safety concerns. 


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(With inputs from agencies)