Instagram is testing new methods for users to verify age, including an AI tool created by a third-party company, Yoti, that estimates how old you are just by scanning your face.

Officially, you need to be at least 13 years old to sign up for an Instagram account, but for a long time the company made little effort to enforce this rule. Until 2019, it didn't bother to ask new users their date of birth, and it didn't try to verify that information.

After criticism with privacy and child safety experts, the Instagram has increasingly introduced age verification features as well as ways to separate younger users from adults.

Instagram tests an AI tool that verifies your age
Instagram tests an AI tool that verifies your age


Today, Instagram asks users to verify age only when teens try to edit their date of birth to show them as 18 or older.

To verify age, users can upload photos of various ID cards, and starting today, users in the US will have two additional options: social proof and AI estimation.

For the first way, social confirmation, Instagram will ask three mutual followers of the user to confirm how old they are. Mutual followers will have to be over 18 and have three days to respond to Instagram's request.

The second way, AI estimation, involves sending a video selfie to a third-party company, Yoti, which uses machine learning to estimate a person's age.

Yoti is a well-known player at age online and and identity verification, and its technology has been approved for use by the UK government and German digital regulators.

It uses various facial signs to estimate a target's age. (Although the company itself says it doesn't know exactly what those signs are. Wrinkles? A look of ineffable sadness? It's all in the mix.)

You can really try out Yoti's system on the web here (the company says they don't retain any data you share with them) and see their accuracy rates below.


The numbers show, in years, the error rate of Yoti's age estimates for different age groups, skin tones and genders.