Instagram will begin to push users to share their birthday with the service, if they have not already done so. The company has announced it will now start notifying people asking to add their birthday to “personalize your experience”. Instagram has a larger goal to create a new safety feature aimed at younger users.
The prompt can be dismissed only a few times as the company suggests it is more of a requirement. Instagram rolled out new features in March that made it difficult for adults to contact teens through the app. In July the company announced the age limit to be set at 16 rather than 13. New users under the age of 16 will get their accounts to “private” and limit their accounts from being suggested elsewhere in the app. Some red flagged adults who are “potentially suspicious” won’t be able to reach out to other minors or interact with their posts.
Facebook says that it will also add warning screens placed on posts asking for your birthday before you can see it.
“These screens aren’t new, and we already show them on posts that may be sensitive or graphic, but we don’t currently ask for your birthday when viewing these posts. Now, we’ll start asking for your birthday on some of these screens if you haven’t shared it with us previously.”
Facebook clarifies that as some people may want to give the company their wrong birthday data, so it’s developing new systems to address this.
“As we shared recently, we’re using artificial intelligence to estimate how old people are based on things like “Happy Birthday” posts. In the future, if someone tells us they’re above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we’ll show them a menu of options to verify their age. This work is still in the early stages, and we look forward to sharing more soon.”
That technology is still in the “early stages,” says Instagram, but will involve a menu of options that will allow someone to verify their age.
(image credits: Wikimedia Commons)