Instagram is introducing new security measures to protect teenagers from inappropriate direct messages from older people.
In a blog post, the Facebook owned company said measures would only work if the accounts have the correct ages of the users, which young people often lie about in order to circumvent limits on what they can see.
Instagram further said messages will be overlaid with a note warning teenagers not to react to something that makes them feel uneasy.
The company has also said it was developing “new artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies” to help with the age verification problem, especially in cases where account holders have not been truthful.
The platform also stated that it now allows young account holders to make their accounts private when they build them and teenagers who follow older users would be able to privately contact them.
“If the teen does not pick ‘online’ while signing up, we give them a message later on, stressing the advantages of a private account and encouraging them to review their settings,” it wrote on its blog.
Instagram also stated that it would make it more difficult for adults to locate and track teens in other areas of the Instagram app, such as Explore, Reels, and others.
This will include stopping adults from seeing teen profiles in the app’s “Suggested Users” segment and hiding their feedback on public posts.
Instagram’s official minimum age is 13 years old.