Instagram is announcing changes to the platform and new features developed to ensure young people’s safety and privacy. Three main changes are being made in their efforts to protect the safety and privacy of young people while ensuring their experience on the platform is fun and positive.
Instagram defaults people under 16 into private accounts
All users who are under 16 years old (or under 18 in certain countries) will default to a private account when they join Instagram. This means that the user can control who sees or responds to their content. With a private account, people have to send a follow request to see and comment on the user’s posts, stories and reels.
Content in a private account will also not appear at all in places like Explore or hashtags. their privacy settings. There will still be the choice to switch to a public account or keep their current account public if they wish.
Stopping unwanted contact on Instagram
Other than encouraging young people to have private accounts, Instagram is also using new technology that will find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behaviour and stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts.
This includes adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person. Instagram will also hide young people’s accounts in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested For You’ to these adults. If these suspicious accounts find young people’s accounts by searching for their usernames, they won’t be able to follow them. These changes will be first reflected in the US, Australia, France, the UK, and Japan. Instagram is looking to expand to more countries soon.
Changing how advertisers can reach young people on Instagram
Lastly, Instagram will be making changes to how advertisers can reach young people with ads. Starting in a few weeks, advertisers can only target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location.
This means that previously available targeting options, like those based on interests or younger user’s activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers. These changes will be global and apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. When young people turn 18, Instagram will notify them about targeting options that advertisers can now use to reach them and the tools we provide to them to control their ad experience.