Instagram will Require Birthdates from New Users

Instagram announced an update that will require new users to provide their date of birth in order to make an Instagram account. The purpose of this update is to make Instagram safer for the youngest members of the community.

Starting today, we will be asking for your date of birth when creating an account on Instagram. According to the Terms of Use, you must be at least 13 years old to have an account in most countries. Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall. Your birthday will not be visible to others on Instagram, but you’ll be able to see it when viewing your own private account information.

If your Facebook and Instagram are connected, Instagram will add the date of birth that is on your Facebook profile. Editing your date of birth on Facebook will also change it on Instagram. Those who don’t have Facebook accounts, or who don’t connect it to Instagram can edit their birthday directly on Instagram.

In the months ahead, Instagram will use birthday information to create tailored experiences including education about account controls and recommended privacy settings for young people. They are also going to give users more control over who can send them direct messages in Instagram.

I am in favor of making efforts to protect young people on social media. Those protections should have been there from the beginning.

My only complaint about this update is it will require new Instagram users to hand over their birthdate to both Instagram and Facebook. Think about all the important documents your birthdate is attached to. Do you trust Facebook to keep that information secure?