Instagram introduces new features to verify users’ age
In an attempt to keep things more transparent and safe on the platform, Instagram is introducing new options for age verification. Starting today, those in the United States will have to submit identification to use the service. This can be done in many ways, but as part of its new process, users will be able to submit a video selfie recording, or they will be able to ask mutual friends to vouch for their age. The company is partnering with Yoti for the verification, which specializes in online age verification.
The firm is implementing these new verification methods to make sure that users on the platform are given an age-appropriate experience. This can include “defaulting into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads”.
Instagram states that this is an expansion that started in 2019, when it began asking users to provide their age by providing their birthday. The firm states that “knowing people’s age allows us to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens.” The platform has always had a rule where its users must be 13 years or older to use Instagram.
As mentioned before, you can upload an ID, send a video selfie, or have people vouch for you. If you are sending a video selfie, your data will be processed by Yoti, a firm that specializes in digital identification and security. Yoti will then go on to verify your age. Once this is complete, the selfie is deleted from Meta and Yoti. Meta is upfront, stating that the technology involved doesn’t look for an identity but only tries to verify age. Instagram has tried video verification before, but its verification system was flawed. Let’s hope that things are better this time around and users aren’t able to verify themselves using a video selfie of a Barbie doll.
As for social vouching, mutual followers will be able to confirm how old you really are. There are only two requirements to this method, one is that the person vouching for you is 18 years of age or older. The second is that they are not currently vouching for anyone else. This will require a total of three people and it will take approximately three days to complete.