Instagram Now Requires Users' Birthdays... Real Ones

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Instagram announced that from now on users will be required to enter their birthdays when prompted, and if they don't, they'll be cut off from accessing their accounts.

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If that sounds like a threat, it is.

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In a blog post this week, the Facebook-owned company says that the new birthday requirement is to help create a safer experience for young people. The goal is to stop adults from messaging kids under 18 who don't follow them. Also, as of last month, Instagram began defaulting new accounts belonging to users under 16 into a private setting. Of course, it's also so you can receive more target ads and Instagram can make more money.

You have some time to submit your birthday, so don't worry, you won't be cut off right away if you fail to comply.

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"We'll start to ask you for your birthday when you open Instagram," the blog post reads. "We'll show you a notification a handful of times and if you haven't provided us with your birthday by a certain point, you'll need to share it to continue using Instagram."

You'll also start to see prompts to enter your birthday, if you haven't already done so, when you click on any posts with warning screens. Your birthday will be required to view the post.

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If you don't want Instagram knowing your real birthday (along with all the other data it already knows), the company says too bad.

"We recognize some people may give us the wrong birthday, and we're developing new systems to address this. As we shared recently, we're using artificial intelligence to estimate how old people are based on things like 'Happy Birthday' posts. In the future, if someone tells us they're above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we'll show them a menu of options to verify their age."

In other words, don't mess with the 'gram.

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