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Instagram is implementing some new rules to make the app safer for younger users.
March 29, 2021

Several new policies focus on limiting interactions between adults and teenagers on the app. Most notably: Adults will not be able to message underage users who don't follow them.

Users are supposed to be 13 or older when signing up, but Instagram is instead relying on "artificial intelligence and machine learning technology" to try and determine someone’s age at sign-up since the given age isn't always accurate. From there, Instagram will apply that technology to prevent teens from receiving unwanted or unsafe messages.

Instagram will also display "safety prompts" when a teen messages with an adult who has been "exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior," reminding the teen that they shouldn't feel pressured to respond to an unwanted message.

The app did not specify what qualifies as "suspicious behavior," but noted it could include an adult user sending a lot of friend or message requests to users under 18.

Instagram will also encourage younger users to make their accounts private, allowing them to control who can see their posts or message them.

Users should start seeing these changes in some countries this month.