New Instagram Accounts Require User Age

A change is coming to Instagram to make the site safer for younger users. Reports indicate that users will soon have to enter their birth date to use the social networking service. In the past, Instagram only checked that the user was at least 13 years old.

Instagram will use the information given to recommend different privacy settings and features. The birthdate won’t be visible to the public. The birth date will also be used to target ads reports NPR.

“While we expect ads targeted by age to be more accurate on Instagram following this update, this isn’t the reason we made these changes,” Instagram said in an email. “Our focus is on developing new, age-appropriate experiences for young people using this information.”

The social network notes that ads for age-restricted content like alcohol and tobacco won’t be shown to people under the legal age in their countries. Other changes will also include giving the user more power to restrict who can send them direct messages.