Instagram recently announced changes intended to keep young users safe, but these features depend on knowing the user’s age. For that reason, Instagram says it has started asking users for their birthdays, assuming the user hasn’t already provided that information. Beyond that, the company says that by providing this information, it is also able to provide users a personalized experience.
Instagram first started asking its users for their birth dates a few years ago — and, according to the company, it already has the detail on the majority of its users. For those who haven’t yet confirmed their age with Instagram, however, they’ll see a new prompt when they open the app that asks them to add their birthday.
The prompt includes a link to learn more about why Instagram wants that info, as well as the option to avoid providing the detail by tapping “Not Now.” That reprieve will only be offered for a short while; if you reject the prompt several times, Instagram says you’ll eventually be required to provide the information to continue using the app.
Beyond that, Instagram will require users to share their birthdays before they can view a post that is hidden by a warning screen. This, too, applies to users who haven’t already shared their birth dates with Instagram. The company acknowledges that some users may provide a fake birthday to get around age-based restrictions.
The company says that it is using artificial intelligence to determine whether the user is potentially a different age than they’ve provided. If the AI identifies a potential issue with a user’s birthday, Instagram says that user will be presented with various options to confirm their birthday. The AI-powered age verification feature is listed as in its “early stages” at this time.