Instagram has rolled out a new measure to verify new account creators age before there accounts will be created as measure to curb underage use. The social platform will start requesting you state your date of birth when you sign up, and will use the date from your Facebook profile if you have an active Facebook account.
The measure will help Instagram stop children under age 13 from using the app, and thus violating COPPA, but will also let it create “age-appropriate and safer experiences” like child-oriented account control tutorials and privacy settings, the service assured will come few months from now.
The company assured that users birthday and age won’t be visible to other users.
Before you go, also note that Instagram is tightening controls for direct messages. The social media service said it’s rolling out an option that will limit incoming direct messages and group invitations to the people you follow. Now, you won’t have to deal with spammers adding you to groups just to get you click their links.
All of these are coming after Facebook promised last year that it’ll be more proactive in reviewing suspected underage accounts. The truth is that we aren’t sure this will completely control under aged children using that platform as kids lie alot about their age just to get signed up.
Although the company want us to believe it’ll discourage kids from signing up when they simply didn’t realize there was a minimum age, but the truth remains that, this is a sort of defense against regulators who are worried that Facebook and its brands aren’t doing enough to protect kids’ privacy.
Even though Instagram told Reuters that advertising wasn’t the major reason for the age verification, it won’t be surprising if this brings in marketing that wasn’t there before, like alcohol ads for people over the legal drinking age. That could be a problem for children who fib about their age and start seeing ads for scotch, but Instagram could then blame the users for misrepresenting themselves.