Instagram to test strong age verification features like video selfies

Social networking service Instagram is reportedly planning to test stronger age checks, requiring underage users to either upload video selfies or find three adults to validate the age.

The updates, which are expected to initially roll out in the U.S., will only apply to users who are under the age of 18 years but try to change their birth date to access age-restricted features.

Currently, these users are asked to upload ID documents to verify their age. However, this approach poses serious security and privacy risks, making it undesirable for some users.

The social networking company has pointed out that knowing the age of users enables it to offer relevant content across different age groups, particularly teenagers.

Instagram revealed that it requires users to be at least 13 years old to create an account for the platform. The age limit is higher in some countries. For users between 13 to 17 years of age, Instagram provides age-appropriate precautions like preventing unwanted contact from unknown adults, limiting the number of ads, and setting their accounts as private by default.

For strong age verification, a video selfie uploaded by a user will be shared with Yoti, a Britain-based age verification startup. The company will use the video to estimate their age and delete the footage from its servers.

Yoti’s Chief Business Officer, John Abbott, has asserted that the existing system effectively figures out a user’s age, and its accuracy has been verified across a variety of demographics to assure no miscategorization of any group.

Meanwhile, the second option will allow an Instagram user to find three mutual adult followers within three days to vouch for their age. It should be noted that the adult followers cannot vouch for multiple users for age confirmation.

Instagram intends to collaborate with governments and industry counterparts to establish clear standards for online age verification.

Source credit: