“Timing is everything” is an adage that all of us are familiar with. And in today’s day and age, the relevance of this thought has transcended our tangible existence and entered the online sphere. At an age where hardly anyone remains untouched by the undeniable force of technology and internet, the interaction patterns between individuals and groups, as well as one’s internal thought processes and perceptions have witnessed a major shift.
And effectively navigating both these worlds without allowing one of them to overpower the other comes with experience and growth. That’s why we often come across strict guidelines regarding the minimum age requirement for creating one’s profile on these online platforms. Leading social media platform and photo- and video-sharing service Instagram has also joined the list of online platforms that require their users to be of or above a certain age to be granted access to the platform. What does this decision entail, and how is it likely to affect the activities of Instagram’s millions of individual users, businesses and digital marketing firms? Here’s the update:
Instagram’s Decision to Introduce an Age Requirement For Users
As part of its latest safety initiative, Instagram has introduced a new guideline that requires users to provide their dates of birth before creating their Instagram profiles. Elaborating on its move, Instagram states that it is now mandatory for a user to be above the age of 13 in order to be eligible to create an Instagram account. Up until now, Instagram did not have any such age restrictions, due to which the number of underage individuals on the platform had risen alarmingly. This dearth of child safety policies on the platform had been recently pointed out by the American online publishing company Techcrunch, which urged Instagram to assume responsibility and take action on this issue at the earliest.
In addition, if a user’s Instagram handle is linked to his/her Facebook profile, Instagram directly exports his/her date of birth from Facebook. In contrast, if the user does not have his/her Facebook profile linked to Instagram, s/he can directly provide the date of birth on Instagram before joining. The good news is that this information is completely confidential, and nobody except the user will be able to view the date of birth section on his/her profile.
How is This Decision Likely to Affect Instagram User Activities?
This initiative by Instagram comes across as a welcome safety measure at a time when electronic gadgets and internet connectivity are so easily available to individuals of all age groups. It helps one to promote age-appropriate social media usage and protects children from any potential threats to their online safety. It has also enabled Instagram to upgrade its safety policies following Facebook and TikTok’s measures. We hope Instagram’s decision to set up age restrictions on the platform proves beneficial in ensuring overall safety and protecting the interests of the individual users, businesses and social media advertising agencies that navigate through the platform on a daily basis.