Instagram is making it mandatory for users to add their birthday on the app: Here’s why

Instagram has made it mandatory for users to add their birthday on the app. The company, via a blog post, announced it will now start showing a notification to people asking them to update their birthday on the app if they haven't already done that. This pop-up message – and the move to make birth dates mandatory – is meant to provide a safer platform for younger users of the app. With this, Instagram will be able to create a customised experience for users and introduce features and settings basis their age.

What this move will also do is make the recently-introduced safety features on the platform more effective. A recent update prevents adults from messaging users under the age of 18, and makes a teenager's account private by default; the inclusion of birth dates will mean these safety provisions will be effective.

Instagram is understood to be working on an AI-driven function that will prevent users from providing incorrect birthday details. Image: Instagram

This will also impact the types of ads a user sees. Users under the age of 18 won’t be subjected to ads, as Instagram won't let advertisers insert ads in their feeds.

The pop-up message will appear for those who haven't added their birthday details on the app yet. Instagram originally started asking users to add their birthdays in 2019.

Those who haven't added their birthday details yet will continue to see the message, and if they continue to ignore the warning, they won't be able to use the app until they finally provide the birthday. It will also show the warning on posts and hide posts themselves until the user’s birthday details are added.

It is also suggested that users can't get away with providing incorrect birth date details. The platform will make use of artificial intelligence to learn if the age provided is right. If not, it will provide a list of options for users to verify their age. The feature is understood to still be in the early stages and requires some work.

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