Instagram is Testing New Ways to Verify Users’ Ages


Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking service, is testing new ways to verify users’ ages, including scanning their faces. The trial started on 23 June and is currently being rolled out in the US.

It is focused on users who try to change their age on the app from under 18 to over 18. According to Business Insider, those users have three ways to verify their age. They include:

  • Uploading a photo of their ID
  • Asking three mutual friends to verify their age
  • Recording a video selfie

If a user happens to choose the video recording method, the video will be passed on to a London-based identity-verification startup “Yoti”, which will scan the users’ facial features in the videos to confirm their ages.

According to Business Insider, the companies will delete the data once the ages have been confirmed. Instagram said that the software by Yoti is only used to confirm age and not the identity of users.

“Understanding someone’s age online is a complex, industry-wide challenge. We want to work with others in our industry, and with governments, to set clear standards for age verification online,” the company said.

The video-sharing social network service started asking users to provide their ages when creating profiles in 2019 when it came under fire for having underage users on the platform.

“We require people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram. In some countries, our minimum age is higher. When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads,” the company said.

Instagram says that users will still be able to provide their age by uploading their ID card or driver’s license.

“We will use your ID to confirm your age and help keep our community safe. Your ID will be stored securely on our servers and is deleted within 30 days,” it said.

By Zintle Nkohla 

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