Up until now, Instagram, the famous social network, was pretty careless when it came to users’ ages. The app was released about nine years ago, but they are only now becoming more responsible to protect underage kids from the risks that come bundled with social media.
Instagram will be asking new users to input their date of birth and they won’t allow those who are younger than 13 to join. However, this change won’t be affecting current users, regardless of their age. It’s a known fact that a great deal of the 1 billion users of instagram are children.
The advantage of implementing age checkups is that Instagram will begin promoting education about settings and advanced privacy controls, while also enabling the option to only allow people you follow to text you, reply to your stories or add you to a group chat.
Here is how instagram officially justifies the change:
“Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall.”
This is a step up towards normality, as other massively popular apps like Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat already require users to input their birth date as soon as they commence the process of signing up. TikTok even took it one step further by creating a separate area of their app, where kids are still able to watch videos but can not post or add comments. This was more of a consequence to a $5.7 million fine from the FTC. The reason was simple: The way TikTok worked violated the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.
The good news is that Instagram will be keeping users’ birthdays private, and they will be synced with their linked Facebook profile.