You have to tell Instagram your birthday to keep using the app

If you haven’t given Instagram your birthday yet, it is about to ask for many more – and in the end you have to use the app. Instagram started requiring new users to add their dates of birth in 2019, but if you had an older account it was possible to skate past without providing that information. Now that seems to be getting harder and harder.

According to the press release, Instagram will ask you about your birthday when you open the app, if you haven’t already added it to your profile. You can ignore it, but only up to a 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 will ask for it before showing you posts marked as sensitive. It’s been fading sensitive content for years, but if you want to see it now, your birthday has to be on Instagram.

Instagram will also ask for your age before showing you sensitive content.
Image: 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 was working on a version of Instagram for those under the age of 13 — a feature for which the platform would obviously need to know people’s ages. It has also worked on other age protections, such as making it so mature couldn’t DM minors who didn’t follow them or by creating accounts for people under 16 standard private. Instagrams birthday support page also says it uses it to moderate ads. (For example, people under 21 don’t get ads for alcohol.)

The company says it will use its age-detection AI in the future to detect people who lie about their age. In July, Facebook had a blog post about this technology, and said it analyzed comments on your birthday posts, such as “happy 21st” or “happy Quinceañera.” According to the press release, if someone says they are over a certain age, like 13 or 18, but the AI ​​says otherwise, Instagram will have them verify their age using several methods (although it doesn’t say exactly what this will do) looks like).

Social networks have long asked for your birthday, but when they’re needed, the growing need to make sure kids are safe online and the sense of invasiveness that can come with it appeals. Snapchat users recently got a taste of the weirdness that can occur when social networks have information you may not remember: They found that the app knew the time and location they were born because it added the information to Snapchat’s astrological profile feature. – and then seemingly forgot they had. However, for Instagram users, this probably won’t be a problem. It will be hard to miss the birthday information requests.