On Thursday, Instagram announced that it is exploring new ways for users to prove their age on the platform, starting with Americans.
In addition to letting users upload their identity evidence online, the photo-sharing site run by Meta Platforms Inc. says it is testing two new techniques to confirm a user’s age.
According to Erica Finkle, director of data governance at Meta, “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 restricting the possibilities advertisers have to reach them with ads.”
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In order to protect users’ privacy, Instagram announced a partnership with Yoti, a business that specializes in online age verification.
Yoti’s technology uses facial features to determine a user’s age when they upload a video selfie to validate their age. Once the age has been confirmed, the photograph will be removed by Meta and Yoti, according to Instagram.
Another choice is to choose three mutual followers who can attest for the user’s age; the three followers chosen must all be at least 18 years old.
The action comes after Instagram delayed the debut of Instagram Kids last year due to negative feedback and backlash.
Instagram Kids was touted as requiring parental consent to join and promising ad-free, age-appropriate content, but US politicians and activist groups encouraged the firm to abandon its launch plans due to safety issues.