Instagram Defaults People Under 16 Into Private Accounts

Everyone who is under 16 years old (or under 18 in certain countries) will be defaulted into a private account when they join Instagram.

Private accounts let people control who sees or responds to their content. If you have a private account, people have to follow you to see your posts, Stories and Reels.

People also can’t comment on your content in those places, and they won’t see your content at all in places like Explore or hashtags.

Historically, Instagram asked young people to choose between a public account or a private account when they signed up for the app, but their recent research showed that they appreciate a more private experience.

During testing, eight out of ten young people accepted the private default settings during sign-up.

For young people who already have a public account on Instagram, Instagram will show them a notification highlighting the benefits of a private account and explaining how to change their privacy settings.

The app will still give young people the choice to switch to a public account or keep their current account public if they wish.

“While most platforms have set their minimum age for participation at 13, there’s no on/off switch that makes someone ready to be a fully media-literate participant on that birthday. Defaulting accounts to private for under-16s encourages young people to develop comfort, confidence and capability as digital citizens during their younger years and help them develop habits to last a lifetime.”

– David Kleeman, Senior Vice President, Global Trends, Dubit

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