Meta Platforms META recently announced that is testing new ways for Instagram users to verify their age starting with people in the United States. Apart from uploading their ID (driver’s license or ID card), users can use video selfie and social vouching to verify their age.
Instagram requires people to be at least 13 years old to sign up. In some countries, the minimum age requirement is higher.
Meta is also partnering with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification, to help ensure people’s privacy. The social-networking giant is using artificial technology (AI) to understand whether a user is a teen or an adult.
Meta already uses AI to prevent teens from accessing Facebook Dating, adults from messaging teens and helps teens from receiving restricted ad content.
The verification requirements will help Instagram provide age-appropriate experiences, thus preventing unwanted contact from adults whom teenage users don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.
Meta Platforms, Inc. Price and Consensus
Meta Platforms, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Meta Platforms, Inc. Quote
New Features to Boost Privacy for Instagram Users
Instagram’s growing popularity in international markets, particularly in Asia, has helped Meta expand its user base. Instagram is particularly popular among Gen-Z.
However, Meta has been facing flak regarding child protection issues on the social networking platform.
Meta has been undertaking several initiatives to save children and teenagers from unwanted activities. In order to protect the Gen Z online, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, stated in March that the company is introducing Family Center for parents. This new feature will provide parents access to supervision tools and resources from leading industry experts.
Meta recently rolled out a new feature called Amber Alerts on Instagram for the first time, which will help people find missing children. The Amber Alert Program uses photos to search for missing children, especially in the first few hours of the lookout. With this new feature, law enforcement agencies can activate the Amber Alert in case a child goes missing, which will alert all the Instagram users in that area regarding the same.
Amber Alert has been rolled out on Instagram from Jun 1 in 25 countries such as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, and the United States, to name a few. The company is working on expanding its services globally.
Meta Peers Facing Child Safety Issues
Meta peers like Snap SNAP have been facing flak over child safety issues.
Snap’s Snapchat platform announced new parental controls in January this year to limit friend suggestions for teen users and to protect them from unwanted attention.
Snapchat’s initiatives come following allegations that the company has been failing to prevent drug-related content from proliferating on its chatting platforms, specifically among its users aged below 18.
Snapchat has been the most preferred social network among Gen Z compared with its rival Meta’s Facebook or Instagram, and Twitter.
Meta has been facing significant competition from Snap as the latter is benefiting from improving user engagement, particularly in the 13-34-year-old demography, which is expanding its advertiser base.
What Awaits Meta Stock in 2022?
Meta is having a terrible 2022, primarily attributable to engagement-related headwinds as well as changes made by Apple AAPL in its iOS that have made ad targeting difficult. Intensifying competition for ad dollars and user engagement from the likes of Snap, Twitter TWTR and TikTok have been other headwinds.
Shares of this social-networking giant are down 52.8% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Computer & Technology sector, which has dropped 29.9% over the same time frame. Snap shares are down 70.4% while Twitter’s has declined 10.5%.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has hurt advertisers’ budgets. Rising inflation, along with slowing economy, is expected to trigger budget cuts.
Meta expects engagement headwinds and ad-targeting difficulty due to Apple’s iOS changes to hurt advertising revenue growth throughout 2022. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s second-quarter guidance also reflects macroeconomic and forex concerns. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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