Instagram tests age verification via video selfie and social vouching
Over in the US, Instagram has started testing new ways to have you verify your age. In addition to simply uploading your ID, a method that may take up to two days to verify, you now have two more options.
The first one is to take a video selfie. On-screen instructions will guide you through the process if you pick this option. After you take the video, it’s shared only with Yoti, a company specializing in age verification, and Instagram’s partner in this undertaking. Yoti’s tech estimates your age based on your facial features and then the video gets deleted. Results can take 20 minutes.
The second option is social vouching, which is exactly what it sounds like – you have to ask mutual followers to confirm how old you are. The person vouching must be over 18 and not be vouching for anyone else at the time. There are also other, undisclosed safeguards in place. You’ll have to select three people to vouch for you, and they need to respond to the request within three days.
Instagram wants to know how old you are for two reasons: first, because you have to be over 13 to use it (in some countries even older). Second, in order for the app to tailor its experience to you. For example, if you’re 13 to 17 years old, your account will default to private and unwanted contact from adults you don’t know will be limited, as will the options advertisers have to reach you with ads.