Instagram Introduces Age Verification When Creating New Accounts

In an effort to better protect the youngest members of its community, Instagram is rolling out a handful of updates — including age verification.

According to a blog post from the Facebook-owned social network, Instagram now requires new users to enter their date of birth when creating an account — be it personal, business, or a domesticated animal. You must be at least 13 years old to have an account in most countries, which means anyone born after this (or any subsequent) date in 2006 need not apply.

“Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer, and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall,” the company wrote in the blog post.

The company also confirmed any users with a connected Facebook account will see their date of birth from Facebook added to their Instagram account. “This is not public information and only you will be able to see it when viewing your own account information,” the company explained. “Editing your date of birth on Facebook will also change it on Instagram.”

“If you don’t have a Facebook account or if you have not connected your accounts, you can add or edit your birthday directly on Instagram,” the post continues.

The new requirement comes amid criticism from lawmakers and family safety groups that claim children are being exposed to inappropriate content on Instagram.

The social media site also unveiled a new feature Wednesday allowing users to block direct messages from people they do not follow.