According to the news, the Instagram today said that those under 16 who sign up for the app will be defaulted to private accounts. Existing accounts will see notifications urging them to consider going private.
“In the past, we asked young people to choose between a public account or a private account when they signed up for Instagram, but our recent research showed that they appreciate a more private experience,” the Facebook-owned app said in a blog post. “During testing, eight out of ten young people accepted the private default settings during sign-up.”
The children could switch back and forth between private and public at any time.
The idea, definitely, is to protect young people from predators, or those displaying “potentially suspicious behavior,” as Instagram puts it. To that end, the company says it’s developed “new technology” to detect accounts engaging in this type of behavior, which means “accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person for example,” Instagram says.
Those identified as suspicious will no longer see minors’ accounts in the Explore, Reels or “Accounts Suggested For You” sections of the Instagram app. And if they come across a teenager’s account in search, they won’t be able to follow them, leave comments on their posts, or see the comments they’ve left on other posts.
“We’ll continue to look for additional places where we can apply this technology,” according to Instagram, which is rolling out these changes in US, Australia, France, the UK, and Japan.
This comes several months after Instagram stopped adults from sending messages to users under the age of 18, unless those teenagers follow them.