Safer Instagram for Kids

The Instagram team seems to be on a roll these days. It’s been announcing updates and new features left and right. There are information tools for COVID-19 and the vaccination efforts. The Instagram Lite is now available in 170 more countries. The photo-sharing app received Live Rooms so four people can go live at once. It has also offered resources for eating disorders and negative body image. The company also recently toughened its stance on hate speech sent through DMs.

Other recent updates include testing of Vertical Stories feed, saving of recently deleted posts for 30 days, and the Instagram Lite app being updated with Reels but only for viewing. Those new features and updates have only been introduced in the first three months of 2021. This time, we learned the app will be safer for the young users with a number of new resources for parents, restriction of DMs, and private accounts for teens.

Instagram values the privacy, safety, and security of everyone especially the children. Kids and teenagers are allowed to use the app but with limits. For one, DMs between teens and adults they do not follow are now restricted.

If an adult sends a message to a kid who is not even 18, a notification will be sent that sending a DM is not an option for them. Instagram uses machine learning for age prediction. Mainly, it is based on information provided by users when they sign up to Instagram.

Instagram still requires a user is 13 years old to sign up. Kids may lie and that is the reality but Instagram wants to address this. New machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies are being developed at the moment. Teens are also encouraged to make their accounts private.



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