Instagram has announced new features to offer teens a safer environment on the social media platform. In a blog post, the Facebook-owned company revealed four new features that limit the ability of most adults on the platform to discover or interact with teens. The company will now require users to provide their age when signing up for an account.
“While many people are honest about their age, we know that young people can lie about their date of birth. We want to do more to prevent this from happening, but verifying the age of people online is complex and something that many in our industry are grappling with. To address this challenge, we are developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help us keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features, ”Instagram said.
Here’s a look at some of the new features Instagram is ready to add to its platform.
Restrict direct messages between teens and adults
Instagram has added a new feature that prevents adults from sending messages to people under 18 who don’t follow them. Therefore, if adults try to message a teenager who is not following them, they will receive a notification that direct message (DM) is not an option.
“This feature builds on our work to predict people’s ages using machine learning technology and how old people give us when they sign up. As we move toward end-to-end encryption, we invest in features that protect privacy and keeping people safe without accessing the content of direct messages, ”said Instagram.
Encourage teens to be more cautious
Instagram will also start sending out security advisories alerting teens to be cautious in conversations with adults with whom they are already connected. The social media platform will send out safety advisories in direct messages that notify young people when an adult who has been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior is interacting with them in direct messages.
Instagram explains it with an example. “If an adult sends a large number of friend requests or messages to people under the age of 18, we will use this tool to alert recipients within their DMs and give them the option to end the conversation, or to block, report, or restrict the adult. . People will start seeing them in some countries this month and we hope to have them available everywhere soon. “
Making it difficult for adults to find teens
Instagram will prevent some adults from viewing teen accounts under ‘Suggested Users’. The company says that adults who have displayed potentially suspicious behavior will not be able to discover teen content on Reels or Explore, and the comment section will be automatically hidden.
Encourage teens to use private accounts
Instagram has claimed that it will encourage teens to have a private account on Instagram to be more secure on the social media platform. The company says that if the teen doesn’t choose ‘private’ when signing up, it will send a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account and reminding them to verify their settings.
This does not mean that teens do not have the option of choosing a public account. Instagram explains that a private account offers users more protections, as they can better control who can see and interact with their content.
“This is just the first step. We are evaluating additional measures we can take to protect youth on Instagram, including additional privacy settings. We will have more to share in the coming months,” Instagram said.