In an attempt to make the app safer for the young generation, Facebook-owned Instagram is introducing changes- one of which includes making accounts of users under 16 private by default.
From now on, anyone signing up for the service who’s under the age of 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) will have their account set to private by default, though the option to switch to public will still be available. Anyone under these ages with a public account now will be sent a notification encouraging them to switch to private.
It also limited advertisers’ options to reach young people.
Instagram has announced that it will be implementing these changes in the US, Australia, France, the UK, and Japan at first and will look to expand to more countries soon.
“We want young people to enjoy using Instagram while making sure we never compromise on their privacy and safety. We want to strike the right balance of giving young people all the things they love about Instagram and keep them safe,” said Karina Newton, Public Policy Director, Instagram.
The company said it has developed a new technology that finds accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behaviour and stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts.
“Using this technology, now we won’t show young people’s accounts in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested For You’ to these adults. If they find young people’s accounts by searching for their usernames, they won’t be able to follow them,” said Instagram.
On a positive note, now Instagram will only allow advertisers to only target ads to people over 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location.