Social media platform Instagram is looking for innovative ways to verify users’ age. To ensure that users have entered the correct age, Instagram will offer a couple of options to the users apart from uploading their ID.
To do so, Instagram says that it has partnered with Yoti – a company that specializes in age verification. Going forward, Instagram will ask users to upload their selfie videos. This video will need to be shot on the platform and users will get on-screen instructions guiding them about the process.
Instagram will then use Yoti’s Ai-powered algorithms to determine age based on the facial features and the entire process might take up to 20 minutes. The selfie video, as per Instagram, will be deleted after the process is done.
While Instagram has stated that the user’s selfie will be shared with Yoti, however, it assures that no personally identifiable information will be shared over to any third party and the images will not be retained on their servers. Instagram has also reassured that the option to supply an identification document will still be available and this document will be automatically deleted from their servers within 30 days.
The second method that Instagram plans to use is called Social Vouching. Instagram will send three people, chosen by the user, a request to confirm their age. These users will have to be at least 18 years old and must not be vouching for someone else’ age at that time. These friends will get three days to complete the verification request.
Both the options are being rolled out in the US as of now and Instagram has not yet confirmed if this will be mandated for users across the globe. The platform has said that this is being done to ensure that the users get an age-appropriate experience on the platform.
New age tech to keep under-age users safe
While Instagram doesn’t allow users below the age of 13 years to join the platform, it has been trying to find ways to make sure that users provide correct details related to their age.
The accounts of users between 13-18 are automatically made private when they sign up and are not offered mature content. This is aimed at offering a safe and an age-appropriate content experience
Verifying the correct age is also critical for Instagram to ensure that it doesn’t target kids with advertisements that are aimed at adult users. While users below 18 years can still make their account public, however, in case they want to update their age, they’ll need to go through the age verification process mentioned above.
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Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.