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Instagram will not let under 16 users have a public account, will make it private by default

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Highlights:

  • Instagram to Make Accounts for Users Under 16 Private by Default.
  • Only approved followers can see posts and like or comment under private accounts.
  • Instagram is rolling out the changes in the US, Australia, France, the UK, and Japan to start and will expand to more countries soon.

Instagram has rolled out a few new features so that the “young people” on the platform have a safer and more private experience. New Instagram users who are under 16 years old (or under 18 in certain countries) will now have a private account by default until chosen otherwise.

Facebook the company is also introducing changes to how advertisers can target users under the age of 18. Previously, any user could be targeted based on their interests and activity and information that Facebook collects from across the web. Instagram will also stop adults whose activity has been labeled as suspicious from interacting with young people’s accounts, in attempts to keep potential child predators from connecting with younger audiences.

The updated privacy policy of Instagram will restrict advertisers from targeting accounts of users under 18 based on their interests or their activity. The changes will be global and apply to Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.

Karina Newton, Public Policy Director – Instagram, said in a press briefing:

“We’ve developed a new technology that allows us to find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behavior and to stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts. By potentially suspicious behavior, we mean accounts that belong to adults that may have recently been blocking or reported by a young person.”

With a private account, only approved followers can comment, like on a user’s posts, Stories, and Reels. Other people on the platform cannot see a user’s content in places like Explore or hashtags when one has a private account.

“We have a number of protective measures that we have to help identify bad actors. We also announced earlier this year that we will not let unconnected adults from connecting with minors over messaging. And so this builds upon that,” Newton said.

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