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Instagram will begin asking users about their birthday more often

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Instagram will begin requiring users to confirm their birthdays as part of an effort to create new safety features for young people, the Facebook-owned image sharing platform said on Monday.

Instagram has explored building a version of its app for kids under the age of 13, prompting lawmakers to urge Facebook to drop the plans, saying the social media company “has a clear record of failing to protect children on its platforms.” Instagram said in a blog post it will use the information to “ensure we provide the right experiences to the right age group.”

 

Last month, the company said it would default users under 16 to a private account when they join the platform.

The app said it will ask users for their birthdays when they open Instagram and then to show several pop-up notifications if the user does not enter their birthday.

At some point, users will be required to submit their birth date to continue using the app, Instagram said. Instagram said that this information allows it to create new safety features for young people, and helps ensure Instagram provides the right experiences to the right age group. Instagram said that while it has birthdays for most people on Instagram, to get a more complete picture it is introducing two new changes.

“First, we’ll start to ask you for your birthday when you open Instagram. We’ll show you a notification a handful of times and if you haven’t provided us with your birthday by a certain point, you’ll need to share it to continue using Instagram. This information is necessary for new features we’re developing to protect young people,” Instagram said in a blog post.

“Second, if you see warning screens placed on posts, we’ll ask you for your birthday before you can see the post. These screens aren’t new, and we already show them on posts that may be sensitive or graphic, but we don’t currently ask for your birthday when viewing these posts,” the blog post said.

The changes will only affect Instagram users who have not previously shared their birthday on the app. Instagram added it was aware that some users might enter a false birth date and said it was developing new technology to address such issues.