If you use Instagram, you may soon see a prompt to enter your birthday, assuming you haven't added it to your account already. But why is this, and what is Instagram going to do with your birthday information?
Let's look at why Instagram is forcing users to enter their birthday, and the accompanying changes being made to the service.
Adding Your Birthday to Instagram Becomes Mandatory
Instagram announced in a blog post on August 30, 2021 that it will soon require all users to add their birthday to their account.
If you haven't provided your birthday to the service, you'll eventually see prompts asking you to enter it. You can dismiss these a few times, but after a while, you'll be required to enter your birthday to keep using your account.
In addition to this, you'll also see a prompt to enter your birthday when you load a photo labeled as Sensitive Content. Instagram uses these to blur photos that contain “disturbing or offensive” content. If you haven't entered your birthday already, doing so is required to view these types of photos.
Instagram has provided a field for your date of birth for some time, so you might already have it on your account. If you don't remember whether you added your birthday when you made your account, it's easy to check.
Visit your profile page at the bottom-right of the Instagram app, then tap the three-bar Menu. Go to Settings > Account > Personal Information to add your Birthday if it's not there already. You might want to do this now to avoid the prompt later.
Note that if you've connected your Facebook and Instagram accounts, Instagram will automatically fill your birthday from Facebook. No matter how you add your birthday, it isn't public on your Instagram profile.
Why Does Instagram Want to Know Your Birthday?
Instagram is asking for your birthday in order to further personalize the experience and add protections for underage users. Currently, Instagram only allows people 13 and older to join, though there are talks of an Instagram for kids platform becoming a reality too.
Over time, Instagram has added several protections for teenagers. These include making the profiles of anyone under 16 private by default, preventing adults from messaging people under 18 if the teenager doesn't follow the adult, and hiding teenager profiles from adults in public spaces like the Explore page.
Of course, for Instagram to employ these protections effectively, it needs to know how old you are. By entering your birthday, you're making it easy for Instagram to know if you're a teenager or an adult, so it can set the protections accordingly. The company also states that it's developing more features to protect young people, which could arrive in the future.
How Instagram Is Detecting Birthdays More Accurately
Of course, not everyone tells the truth. Because of this, Instagram is also working on new methods to detect someone's real birthday if it differs from what they entered. For example, artificial intelligence can detect a post that says “Happy 16th birthday!” and compare that to the birthday that person entered.
Instagram plans to take further action on people who lie about their birthdays. The company states:
In the future, if someone tells us they’re above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we’ll show them a menu of options to verify their age. This work is still in the early stages, and we look forward to sharing more soon.
Cake and Candles From Instagram
Now you know why Instagram is asking for your birthday. If you haven't added it already, you'll need to add it soon to continue using the app. You may notice some small changes after adding your date of birth, but these are nothing major and all revolve around protecting younger people who use the app.
Keep in mind that anyone—teen or adult—can take simple steps to make their Instagram account more private.
Author: Ben Stegner
Source: Ben Stegner.” Why Instagram Is Forcing You to Add Your Birthday”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/instagram-forcing-you-add-birthday/
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