Instagram is making it mandatory to add a date of birth when creating an account. Now, users need to be at least 13 years old to use the service. Countries like those in the EU have regulations which create a minimum age for online service usage like the GDPR making it just a further application of a policy that should have been in place from the start. As an extension of this, users will now be able to change their birthday on Facebook via Instagram if their accounts are linked — and yes, the firm will check to see if you’re 13+ there as well.
The firm is also adding a way to control who messages you. Previously users were able to get forcibly added into group chats by spambots, or just get messages from random strangers. For influencers ad celebrities, this posed an issue. Now Instagram lets you choose who can message you. Much like Twitter, you can opt to leave it open to everyone, or you can limit it to users you follow. The same settings are now available for groups.
Both changes are rolling out from today. In the months to come, Instagram says it’ll “use the birthday information you share with us to create more tailored experiences, such as education around account controls and recommended privacy settings for young people.”