Social media platform Instagram is looking for innovative ways to verify the age of users. To ensure users have entered the correct age, Instagram will offer a few options for users in addition to uploading their ID.
For that, Instagram it says (opens in new tab) which partnered with Yoti – a company specialized in age verification. In the future, Instagram will ask users to upload their selfie videos. This video will need to be filmed on the platform and users will receive on-screen instructions guiding them through the process.
Instagram will use Yoti’s Ai-powered algorithms to determine age based on facial features and the entire process can take up to 20 minutes. The selfie video, as per Instagram, will be deleted after the process is complete.
While Instagram has stated that the user’s selfie will be shared with Yoti, however, it guarantees that no personally identifiable information will be shared with third parties and the images will not be retained on its servers. Instagram has also ensured that the option to provide an ID document will still be available and that ID will be automatically deleted from its servers within 30 days.
The second method that Instagram plans to use is called Social Voucher. Instagram will send three people, chosen by the user, a request to confirm their age. These users must be at least 18 years old and must not attest to the age of another person at that time. These friends will have three days to complete the verification request.
Both options are rolling out in the US as of now and Instagram has yet to confirm whether this will be mandatory for users worldwide. The platform said this is being done to ensure users have an age-appropriate experience on the platform.
New age technology to keep underage users safe
While Instagram does not allow users under the age of 13 to participate on the platform, it has been trying to find ways to ensure users provide correct details related to their age.
Accounts for users between the ages of 13 and 18 are automatically made private when they sign up and adult content is not offered. The goal is to provide a safe and age-appropriate content experience
Verifying the correct age is also critical for Instagram to ensure it doesn’t target children with ads targeting adult users. While users under the age of 18 can still make their account public, however, if they want to update their age, they will need to go through the age verification process mentioned above.