Users of the Instagram app are going to provide their birthday to keep using the app going forward.
Infoexpert24 reports that users who haven’t given Instagram their birthday will have to do so in the coming weeks in order to have access to their accounts.
This development is according to the Instagram press release.
Going forward, Instagram will ask you for your birthday when you open the app if you haven’t already added it to your profile. You’ll be able to ignore it, but only up to a certain point — eventually, Instagram says, you’ll have to add your birthday if you want to keep using the app.
Instagram also says that if it doesn’t have your birthday, it’ll ask for it before showing you posts that are marked as sensitive. It’s been blurring sensitive content for years, but now if you want to see it, your birthday will have to be on file with Instagram.
The company says these efforts are part of its work to make the platform safer for young people. In May, the company formally announced that it’s working on a version of Instagram for people younger than 13 — a feature that would obviously require the platform to know people’s ages.
It’s also been working on other age protections, like making it so adults couldn’t DM minors who weren’t following them or by making accounts for people younger than 16 private by default. Instagram’s birthday support page also says it uses it to moderate ads. (For instance, people under 21 won’t get ads for alcohol.)
Instagram says, in the future, it’ll use its age detection AI to sniff out people who are lying about their ages. In July, Facebook had a blog post about this tech, saying it was analyzing comments on your birthday posts, such as “happy 21st” or “happy Quinceañera.” According to its press release, if someone says they’re above a certain age like 13 or 18, but the AI says otherwise, Instagram will have them verify their age using a variety of methods (though it doesn’t say exactly what this will look like).
Infoexpert24 believes that because of this, it’s going to be hard to miss the birthday information requests for users on Instagram.