Instagram users must disclose their birthday to the company going forward

Instagram plans to create new safety features to tailor age-appropriate app experiences.

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown

Instagram wants to know your birthday.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Instagram will now require all users to share their birthday with the company, according to a post from the Facebook-owned social media site on Aug. 26. The app update is meant to pave the way for new safety features aimed at younger users. 

If you haven't already informed it of your birthday, Instagram will start to ask you for that information when you open the app. You'll receive a handful of reminder notifications, according to Instagram, but if you haven't provided your birthday by a certain point, you won't be able to use the app.

Instagram plans to use birthday information to restrict advertiser targeting options for users under 18 years of age, as well as requiring age confirmation before viewing posts that might be sensitive or graphic. 

The service, which first began asking about birthdays in 2019, says it recognizes that users might try to falsify information. 

"We're developing new systems to address this," Instagram said in the post. "We're using artificial intelligence to estimate how old people are based on things like 'Happy Birthday' posts. In the future, if someone tells us they're above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we'll show them a menu of options to verify their age."

CNET has reached out to Instagram for comment, and we'll update when we hear back.