Instagram, a social media service owned by Meta, has been working on age verification as part of a larger effort to make the network safer for its users. New methods of age verification, which the platform began testing in certain locations earlier this year, are now rolling out to more countries, such as India and Brazil.
The new age verification mechanism is already live in the United States, and it requires users to use one of two methods to alter their date of birth on Instagram, from either under 18 to above 18 or from 18 to over 18. Uploading identification documents and video selfies are examples of these techniques.
“We’re testing this so we can make sure teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group. We are also partnering with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification, to help ensure people’s privacy,” said Instagram in a blog post.
Video selfies give users the option to be guided through the video-taking process by on-screen prompts. Yoti, a digital ID service, receives the image and uses facial recognition technology to confirm the subject’s age. Both Meta & Yoti, so the corporation claims, will then erase the photo.
Users can also prove their age by submitting a copy of a government-issued photo ID. Before Instagram disabled the feature to devote more time to improving it, a third age-verification method called social vouching was in use. With social vouching, a user only needed to ask three of their mutual followers to verify their age, and those people could do so as long as they were 18 or older.