Instagram recently announced several changes to protect younger users; this includes setting private accounts by default for those who are below 16 years old.
The number of younger users on social media has grown rapidly over the years, which is why social media platforms need to make changes to provide a safer experience for these users.
Private accounts are safer for young users
Setting accounts to private by default can help prevent the younger ones from getting unknown messages from people they don’t know. It also gives them control over who can interact with their posts and stories, and prevents their posts from appearing in the Explore tab — lessening the chances of unknown predators from preying on them.
Instagram also did research to find out whether the younger users prefer a public or private account. Turns out, 8 out of 10 of them chose to have a private account when they register.
It’s private by default, but you can still change it
Private by default only works for new users on Instagram, but the company has actually started its effort to create a safer experience a few months back. Those who are below 16 or 18 — depending on your country — will get notified on the benefits of having a private account.
Of course, the final decision is still made by the users themselves.