Instagram to limit options for advertisers to reach young people

Initially, these changes are being rolled out in US, Australia, France, UK and Japan

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 28, 2021 4:37 PM

Instagram has put in place a new mechanism to make the platform safe for young users. Among the changes on the anvil are defaulting young people under 16 into private accounts. Secondly, the platform will make it harder for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people. Thirdly, the platform will also limit the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads.

Initially, these changes are being rolled out in US, Australia, France, UK and Japan. "We’re rolling out these changes in the US, Australia, France, the UK and Japan to start and will look to expand to more countries soon."

"Creating an experience on Instagram that’s safe and private for young people, but also fun comes with competing challenges. We want them to easily make new friends and keep up with their family, but we don’t want them to deal with unwanted DMs or comments from strangers. We think private accounts are the right choice for young people, but we recognize some young creators might want to have public accounts to build a following," Instagram said in a blog.

Instagram believes private accounts are the best way to prevent adults from approaching young users. "So starting this week, everyone who is under 16 years old (or under 18 in certain countries) will be defaulted into a private account when they join Instagram."

It has developed a new technology that will allow it to find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behaviour and stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts. "By “potentially suspicious behaviour”, we mean accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person for example."

Using this technology, Instagram won’t show young people’s accounts in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested For You’ to these adults. "If they find young people’s accounts by searching for their usernames, they won’t be able to follow them. They also won’t be able to see comments from young people on other people’s posts, nor will they be able to leave comments on young people’s posts. We’ll continue to look for additional places where we can apply this technology."

Starting in a few weeks, Instagram will only allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location. "This means that previously available targeting options, like those based on interests or on their activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers. These changes will be global and apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger."

The platform believes in showing people relevant ads, so they can discover and purchase products that are interesting to them. "In order to show people the most relevant ads, advertisers choose the types of people they want to see their ads. That could include choosing to show their ads to people with certain interests (like basketball) or based on information that they - or other partners - share with us about their activity on their website and apps. That’s information like whether someone put a certain pair of shoes in their shopping cart or browsed for a new summer grill."

When young people turn 18, Instagram will notify them about targeting options that advertisers can now use to reach them and the tools we provide to them to control their ad experience.

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