Facebook sets young people’s Instagram accounts as private by default | Technology

Spam private messages and comments from strangers will soon be a thing of the past for young people under the age of 18 who create a profile on the popular photo platform Instagram. Parent company Facebook is taking steps to protect this younger target group, the company writes in a blog. Facebook also makes it difficult for advertisers to reach young people.

For example, the Instagram accounts of youth under 16, or under 18 in certain countries, are automatically set as private, making it difficult for potentially rogue accounts to find youth accounts and limiting the ability of advertisers to reach young people with their advertisements.

A private account means that users must first submit a follow request to view a profile. People also can’t just leave messages or view messages posted on the publicly accessible parts of Instagram, such as via hashtags that are linked to a post and are searchable.

Tighter measures

The possibilities for advertisers are also limited. Soon, advertisers will only be able to show ads to young people under the age of 18 based on their age, gender, and location. With this, Facebook restricts the above advertising options based on interests and activity on other applications and websites. These measures will apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger, Facebook’s SMS application.

Facebook will begin in a few weeks with the strictest measures in the United States, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and Japan. Other countries will follow later.

Vince Fernandez

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