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Meta Launches Age Verification Test With Facebook Dating

The move intends to make Meta's platform safer and age-appropriate.

Woman using facial recognition technology on phone.
Meta will use video selfies and ID uploads to verify a person's age and ensure age-appropriate content. 
Getty Images

Meta is testing age verification tools on Facebook Dating as it tries to make the platform safer and age-appropriate, it said in a blog post Monday. Facebook Dating users are required to be 18 or older to use the app, but oftentimes teens change their date of birth to evade that barrier.

Meta (formerly known as Facebook) launched Facebook Dating in 2019 to minimal success. The dating feature has trailed dating app competitors like Tinder and Hinge in popularity.

Meta will test two approaches to verifying a user's age. One approach is through video selfies, which it has partnered with digital identity company Yoti to screen. It shares a still image from the video selfie with Yoti, which estimates your age according to your facial features. Yoti cannot recognize your identity, Meta said. 

Alternatively, you can upload some form of ID that includes your age, Meta said in its post. The company noted that "it'll be encrypted and stored securely, and won't be visible on your Facebook profile or to other people on the app."

The company began testing age verification on Instagram in June. Meta prevented 96% of people under 18 from changing their age, it said. And 81% of people presented with its ID verification opted to use Yoti's video selfie to verify their age.

"Providing people with more than one option to verify their age allows them to select a method that best fits their needs and preferences," Erica Finkle, the company's director of data governance, said in the post. "For example, many people don't always have access to the forms of ID that make verifying age clear."