Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
- Instagram is testing new ways to verify the age of its users in the US.
- One of them uses technology from a third-party company to scan a submitted video selfie.
- The AI tech estimates how old the person in the selfie is for age verification.
Officially, Instagram only allows users that are 13 years old or older to sign up for its social networking service. However, it hasn’t done a lot to enforce this rule among its users. That’s finally changing. According to an article on The Verge, Instagram is testing a way for users to get verified by just using their face.
The method is based on using technology from a third-party company called Yoti. It employs AI tech and machine learning to estimate a person’s age via their face. If Instagram wants to check to see if you really are 13 years old or old, you may be asked to send a video selfie of yourself to Yoti. It then uses its technology to estimate how old the person is in that video. You can even try out the tech at Yoti’s website. The company says it does not keep any data that you send to it for this demo.
This technology is not perfect; the article says that people 24 and younger could have age estimates that are as much as 2.5 years off. It also isn’t as accurate with female faces or faces that have darker skin. However, it’s certainly a better way to verify a future Instagram user compared with the current honor system.
Users in the US can also send pictures of supported ID cards to verify their ages for Instagram. The company is also using another method called social vouching. That involves three people who are 18 or older that are followers of a user. They have to confirm the age of that user if they get a request from Instagram within three days.
Instagram is also checking user posts after they are admitted for additional verification, such as if a person who claims to be 20 years old posts about celebrating their 16th birthday. It is even testing a method based on a person’s written posts, to see if they write like a teenager or an adult, although we certainly see lots of adults on Instagram writing like they were teens.