Instagram has minimum age criteria for its platform. On paper, users below the age of 13 cannot open an account on the image-sharing social media platform. Now, the platform has introduced some more changes in order to defend minors from online perils such as unwanted DMs from strangers or to hide vulnerable members of its platform from malicious actors.
Instagram has claimed that they want to stop young people from hearing from adults they don’t know, or that they don’t want to hear from. Starting this week, everyone who is under 16 years old (or under 18 in certain countries) will be defaulted into a private account when they join Instagram.
Private accounts let Instagram users control who sees or responds to their content. In order to view content posted by users with a private account, people need to follow them. Apart from usual posts, Stories and Reels cannot be viewed or reshared.
According to a survey conducted by Instagram, younger users prefer their account to be private. An official statement from the company claims that 8 out of 10 young users in the survey preferred to choose a private account.
For young people who already have a public account, Instagram will show them a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account and explaining how to change their privacy settings. Ultimately the user will have the choice to switch to a public account or keep their current account public.
The new changes are rolling out these changes in the US, Australia, France, the UK and Japan to start and promises to expand it further in other countries soon.
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