Published: September 1, 2021
Social media platforms, such as Instagram, have been asking for birthdays whenever users open an account. However, it has never been a requirement, so people could just skip it and continue using the app.
But there has been a growing need to make it a requirement. Thus, Instagram will now mandate people who have not entered their birthdays yet to do so this time.
The platform’s main reason for this is to create safer and more private experiences for young people.
Since March, specific changes have been made in Instagram, such as preventing adults from sending messages to users under 18 who are not their followers. What’s more, the accounts of those under 16 are now set into a private setting by default.
Requiring birthdays will also allow the company to build more safety features on the app for young people. Furthermore, this mandatory information will help them restrict advertising targeting options to users under 18.
First, the app will start asking for birthdays when you open the app. Users will then see a notification several times to a certain point that they can no longer access the app unless they share their birthday.
Second, there will be warning screens on some posts that users will not be able to unlock until they provide their birthday. These warning screens have always been there for posts that may display sensitive or graphic images. The change is that the app will now ask for birthdays.
Instagram is also getting ready to address people providing the wrong birthday. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine people’s age through things like their “Happy Birthday” posts.
In the future, if the AI detects that the users have entered the wrong age, the app will show them a menu of options to verify their actual age.
Instagram’s VP of Youth Products, Pavni Diwanji, is hopeful that they have explained these changes well to over a billion Instagram users.