Instagram users ALERT! Important update – new features rolled out! All you need to know
Instagram has said that users below the age of 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) will now have private accounts by default.
Instagram has rolled out a few new features to make the application safer for everyone, especially minors. Users below the age of 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) will now have private accounts by default.
Instagram in a blog post said, "We want to strike the right balance of giving young people all the things they love about Instagram while also keeping them safe. That’s why we’re announcing changes we’ll make today (July 27)."
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The changes announced by the app includes:
1. Defaulting young people into private accounts.
2. Making it harder for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people.
3. Limiting the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads.
Private accounts let people control who sees or responds to their content. If you have a private account, people have to follow you to see your posts, Stories and Reels unless you choose to allow others to reshare your content. People also can’t comment on your content in those places, and they won’t see your content at all in places like Explore or hashtags.
Historically, Instagram asked young people to choose between a public account or a private account when they signed up but in its recent research it was seen that a more private experience is being appreciated. During testing, eight out of ten young people accepted the private default settings during sign-up.
"For young people who already have a public account on Instagram, we’ll show them a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account and explaining how to change their privacy settings. We’ll still give young people the choice to switch to a public account or keep their current account public if they wish," Insta said.
Stopping unwanted contact
The company is going even further to make young people’s accounts difficult to find for certain adults. New technology has been developed that will allow Instagram to find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behavior and stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts. By “potentially suspicious behavior”, it mean accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person for example.
Using this technology, the app will not show young people’s accounts in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested For You’ to these adults. Also, if they find young people’s accounts by searching for their usernames, they won’t be able to follow them. They also won’t be able to see comments from young people on other people’s posts, nor will they be able to leave comments on young people’s posts.
These changes are being rolled out in the US, Australia, France, the UK and Japan to start and will expand to more countries soon.
Changing how advertisers can reach young people
Changes have also been made to how advertisers can reach young people with ads. Starting in a few weeks, the app will only allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location. This means that previously available targeting options, like those based on interests or on their activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers. These changes will be global and apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
When young people turn 18, they will get a notification about targeting options that advertisers can now use to reach them and the tools Insta provide to them to control their ad experience.
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