Instagram Birthday HeroSource: Instagram

What you need to know

  • Instagram is now requiring all users to tell the company their birthday.
  • The company says the new requirement is needed to "create safer, more private experiences for young people."
  • Anyone who has not already provided their birthday will be prompted to.

Instagram will now require all of its users to provide their birthdays in order to use the social media service.

In a press release, the company announced that the move is needed in order to "create safer, more private experiences for young people." Users have been able to share their birthdays with the company for a while now, but anyone who hasn't will now be required to.

The data point tells the app to limit certain experiences to those over 18 and protect those under it from questionable content. It is also another data point for advertisers to ensure their content is seen by the appropriate audience.

This information allows us to create new safety features for young people, and helps ensure we provide the right experiences to the right age group. Recent examples include changes we made in March to prevent adults from sending messages to people under 18 who don't follow them, and last month we started to default new accounts belonging to people under the age of 16 into a private setting.

This information also allows us to personalize your experience, for example, we can apply recent changes we made to restrict advertiser targeting options for audiences under the age of 18, to more people. It also helps us show you more relevant ads.

Instagram Birthday ContentSource: Instagram

The company says that, for those who have not provided their birthday yet, the app will prompt you for it a number of times before turning off access completely. The company is also going to start requiring a birthday in order to see posts with warning screens on them.

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.

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. Now, we'll start asking for your birthday on some of these screens if you haven't shared it with us previously.

In order to catch people who lie about their age, the company says that it is developing AI that will eventually be able to catch these instances and prompt someone to correct it.