Instagram Expands Age Verification Test to Canada
Meta announced on Thursday it has expanded its Instagram age verification test to Canada. The test initially launched in the U.S. last June, but today expanded to more countries.
“Starting today, we’re beginning to expand our age verification test on Instagram to Canada,” said a Meta spokesperson to iPhone in Canada in a statement.
How does this work? If a user tries to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, the app will require age verification. This is done either by uploading a picture of their ID or recording a video selfie. Instagram requires users to be 13 years or older to use the app.
Meta says its partner to verify online age verification is Yoti, to ensure user privacy. The testing is so Instagram can “make sure we’re providing teens and adults with the right experience for their age group.”
When Instagram knows the age of a teen, age-appropriate experiences are provided including private accounts by default, plus preventing unwanted contact from adult strangers, and limiting options to advertisers for their targeted ads.
When uploading an ID, it’s stored securely on servers and then deleted within 30 days. For online video selfies, they are shared only with Yoti. The service will estimate a user’s age based on facial features and share estimates with Instagram. The picture is then deleted by both Meta and Yoti.
Meta says its testing of age verification since last June has resulted in “approximately four times as many people were more likely to complete our age verification requirements (when attempting to edit their date of birth from under 18 to over 18), equating to hundreds of thousands of people being placed in experiences appropriate for their age.”
Instagram was able to stop 96% of teens that tried to change their birthdays to over 18, while 81% of users chose the video selfie option to verify their age.
This Instagram age verification test is now available today in Canada, along with Europe, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, and Japan. Instagram plans to roll it out to more countries worldwide in the “next few months.”