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Instagram to begin asking new users for their birthdays

Instagram to begin asking new users for their birthdays

Instagram announced Wednesday that it will begin requiring new users of the photo-sharing application to provide their birthdays in an effort to "build a safer experience for the youngest members of our community."

Information about users' birthdays will be used to tailor privacy settings and generate in-app information about staying safe online, Instagram said in a blog post.

Users previously were required to be at least 13 years old but were not widely required to provide exact birthdays unless they were merging their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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Minors in the European Union did have to submit their birthdays to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Current users will not have to add their birthdays, and users' birthdays will not be displayed on their profiles.

The new requirement comes amid criticism from lawmakers and family safety groups that claim children are being exposed to inappropriate content on Instagram.

The social media site also unveiled a new feature Wednesday allowing users to block direct messages from people they do not follow.