Instagram, Facebook’s popular photo and video sharing social network, now has a whopping one billion users. The company’s stated mission is to bring users closer to the things they love. Such closeness, however, can only happen if the platform is a safe place. Thus, on August 28, 2018, Mike Krieger, Instagram co-founder and chief technology officer, shared three key steps it is taking to ensure users’ safety.
Keeping people with bad intentions off of Instagram, Krieger says, means stopping bad actors before they do harm. If you have an Instagram account, rest easy: steps are being taken to make sure the people you follow, and the accounts with which you interact, are who they say they are.
About this Account
Sure, most people using Instagram want a broad reach, but how can you tell whether an account with a gazillion followers is legit—especially when several such accounts appear to share information related to current events, political or social causes?
Responding to users’ requests for deeper understanding of accounts that reach many people, Instagram is rolling out a new feature, About this Account. The feature, says Krieger, lets users evaluate the authenticity of such accounts, including
- join date
- where the account is located
- accounts with shared followers
- username changes within the last year
- any ads the account is currently running
Increasing access to verification
If you use Twitter or Facebook on a regular basis, you’ve surely seen the blue verified badges next to certain names. These badges indicate that the account with which you’re interacting is, in fact, a notable public figure.
Instagram, too, has verified badges, helping you more easily find the public figures, celebrities and brands you want to follow.
Instagram accounts with broad reach must now not only comply with the platform’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, but they must also satisfy criteria to request verification. This is achieved through a form within the Instagram app. Those seeking a verified account will need to provide their account username, full name, and a copy of their legal or business identification. Instagram then reviews verification requests to confirm each account’s
Requesting verification doesn’t guarantee a verified account. Once it has completed its review, Instagram will notify users, letting them know whether the request has been accepted or declined.
Support for third-party authenticator apps
You’ll soon be able to use a third-party authenticator app when logging in to your Instagram account. This form of two-factor authentication simplifies the login process and makes it safer for you to securely log in to Instagram.
Krieger, along with Kevin Systrom, launched Instagram in October 2010. Both are committed to the Instagram community and to its one billion members. From Instagram’s inception, the pair have focused on the platform’s safety, and these updates build on existing tools. It’s a definitely a step in the right direction.
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