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Why Is Instagram Asking for My Birthday? Decoding Why Your Date of Birth Matters

Published August 11, 2023

If you’re a pre-2019 Instagram user, you remember a time when the app didn’t require you to enter your birthday upon signing up. Yet, in recent years, you’re likely receiving reminders to add this date every time you log in. You can, of course, postpone the action by clicking “Not Now” — but only for a time. After a while, Instagram no longer leaves you a choice if you want to continue using the platform.

So, what’s going on, exactly? Why is Instagram suddenly interested in your birthday? Such questions flooded the Internet as soon as the new pop-ups began pestering users, and we’re here to answer them in detail.

Enforcing the Age Restriction Policy

As you might be aware, you must be thirteen or older to use Instagram. This policy is by no means new, but the app didn’t ask for birthdays until December 2019. Consequently, anyone who made an account before that time could use Instagram without real restrictions.

However, since 2019, Instagram has started enforcing its age restriction policy by asking new users to enter their birthdays upon account creation. At the same time, old users began receiving profile update reminders that eventually must be complied with.

As a result of the stricter policy, accounts made by users younger than thirteen are immediately removed. Everyone else is safe, but it is important to note that Instagram uses birthdays to determine the appropriate kind of content to show. For instance, users younger than sixteen will have their profiles automatically set to Private and won’t be able to view sensitive posts.

Appealing the Removal

If you’ve accidentally set your age as younger than thirteen and, as a result, had your account removed, you can appeal the decision. However, you will need to submit a valid ID proving that you are, in fact, older than thirteen. Then, Instagram will review your case in up to thirty days and restore your account if the evidence is sufficient.

Editing Birthday on Instagram

Once you enter your age on Instagram, it’s there to stay. The app doesn’t allow any changes to your birthday, likely to prevent inputting false age. As a result, if you added a few years to your actual age upon creating an account, you won’t be able to later revert to your actual birthday. Luckily, only you can see your birthday on Instagram anyway, so there won’t be any confusion.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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