Instagram has announced that it will ask users to enter their birthday information. These prompts may be dismissed at first, but the social media giant seems to be making it a mandate to eventually continue using Instagram. These prompts try to understand how old everyone is on Instagram and prevent content inappropriate for young people from appearing in their feed. Instagram says this information is needed for new features it develops to protect young people.
In a new blog post, Instagram says it will start asking users about their birthday when they open the app. This is only for those who have not specified their date of birth in advance. Instagram will show these users a notification at the top of their feed a few times, and if they haven’t provided birthday information at some point, they’ll have to share it to continue using the app, the company says.
In addition, if users see warning screens on their posts, Instagram will ask for their birthday before the post can be revealed. This was not the case before, as users could simply click the “Watch Video” or “View Image” button at the bottom of the alert and see the hidden content. Going forward, all users who have not shared their birthday will see a ‘Confirm your age’ button instead. These screens are not new and Instagram already shows them on posts that can be sensitive or graphic. This new solution appears to restrict access to certain content based on age.
Instagram is also working on the ability to estimate how old a person is by using artificial intelligence that takes into account factors such as “Happy Birthday” messages. This new system recognizes users who have entered the wrong date of birth and then asks them options to verify their correct age. Instagram says this work is still in its early stages and will launch sometime in the future.
All these measures are taken with the intention of creating a safer environment for young people on Instagram. Instagram seems to provide the right experiences for the right age group and block certain types of content for young people. Instagram recently introduced new features where it put new accounts of people under 16 in a private area and also prevented adults from messaging people under 18 who don’t follow them.
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