Facebook defaults teen accounts to private on Insta and adds new advertising limits

Facebook-owned social media platforms have today released several new features on the apps to help protect its younger users from “potentially suspicious” accounts and limit the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads.

Starting from this week, advertisers will no longer be able to use “interests” or information obtained from other services to show ads to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger’s younger users.

Instagram announces: Teen accounts to default to private, suspicious adults restricted, new advertiser limits

Despite these changes, advertisers will still be able to choose the types of account holders they want to see the ads based off gender, age, location and demographic.

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

Other measures include limiting access to account’s of children of adult account users who Instagram deem as potentially suspicious, defaulting people under 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) into private accounts.

The changes will roll out across Australia, the US, the UK, France and Japan.

Facebook Australia’s head of policy, Josh Machin said: We want young people to enjoy using Instagram while making sure we have robust privacy and safety features in place to protect them. That’s why we’re launching these new updates for our global community today, and we’ll continue developing tools that protect teens and our entire community.

“Privacy is one of our top priorities, and we’ll continue listening to young people, their parents, lawmakers and industry experts to build tools and experiences that safeguard everyone on our platforms.”

Lucy Thomas, co-founder and Co-CEO of anti-bullying initiative Project Rockit said: “For millions of young people all over the world, social media is an incredibly powerful tool for creative expression, finding your voice and building communities.

“That’s why it’s so important that the user experience delivered to younger teens is fully fitted out with digital bumper rails to keep the play safely within their lane. By building these new measures, Instagram is stepping up to provide a safer and more empowering entry point into the online social world for 13-16 year old users.”

As per Instagram’s terms, it requires people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Facebook or Instagram. This is also the age requirement for social networking service TikTok, and multimedia messaging app, Snapchat.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.