Instagram will soon use age to offer tailored app experiences

Starting next year, Instagram says that some of its users will start seeing app experiences tailored to their age group, a move that is largely intended to help protect the platform's youngest users. The revelation is part of a larger announcement concerning changes coming to the service, another of which includes the new requirement for users to provide their age when creating an account.

As of today, users must provide their date of birth when they create a new account on the platform. The intention is to better enforce Instagram's age policy, which requires users to be at least 13 years old in order to have an account (in most countries). Instagram says that it will not display the age information publicly; likewise, the platform will use the date of birth listed on a linked Facebook account.

Of course, this entire process does nothing to prevent users under the age of 13 from signing up; the date of birth is voluntarily given and can be easily lied about. Still, getting the age of users will help the company achieve the rest of its announcement, which is that it will roll out a user experience tailored to the user's age over 'coming months.'

Instagram says users can expect an 'age-appropriate and safer' experience, which mostly means that younger users will see recommended privacy settings ideal to their age group, as well as certain educational materials concerning the account controls.

Finally, Instagram said in an announcement today that it is helping users better control who can send them direct messages on the platform. Users can enable a new option that limits DMs to ones that come from people they follow, meaning messages from everyone else won't show up in the user's inbox.