Instagram will begin prodding users to share their birthday with the service if they haven’t already done so. Today, the company announced it will now start popping up a notification that asks you to add your birthday to “personalize your experience.” But the prompt can only be dismissed a handful of times before becoming a requirement. The company explains that the move is a part of Instagram’s larger goal to create new safety features aimed at younger users. This includes the teen privacy protections introduced earlier this year, as well as Instagram’s longer-term plan to launch a version of its service aimed at users under the age of 13.
This March, Instagram rolled out new features that made it more difficult for adults to contact teens through its app. Then in July, the company announced a more extensive series of changes to the default settings for new users under the age of 16. It will now default these users’ accounts to “private” and limit their accounts from being suggested elsewhere in the app. It also currently restricts adults whose accounts are flagged as “potentially suspicious” from reaching out to other minors or interacting with their posts.
Starting this week, Instagram says users who have not yet shared their birthday will begin to see pop-up notifications when they open the Instagram app. These notifications will appear a handful of times, but at some point, users will no longer be able to dismiss the message by tapping “Not Now.” Instead, everyone will ultimately be required to share their birthday to continue to use Instagram.
The company will also now request you share your birthday information when you come across a post with a warning screen. These screens, which hide content that’s flagged as sensitive or graphic, are not new. But Instagram has never before asked for a user’s birthday before displaying the hidden content.