Instagram defaults new accounts to private for young users

Instagram has announced to default new accounts under the age of 16 and set them to private accounts. Research conducted by Instagram has found out eight of ten young users preferred to have a private account rather than a public one. Instagram in their blog says that they want to create an experience that is safe and private for young users. They also want them to have fun in their young adolescent lives. Instagram handle wants young creators to make new friends on the platform but not at the cost of dealing with the unpleasant DMS or comments from strangers. The changes will be discussed further in the article meanwhile, let’s discuss the differences between a private and public account.

Differences between a private and public account

A private account on Instagram lets the user control who sees their posts, stories, and reels. People also cannot comment on the users’ content or posts. They will also be not able to find users via the explore tab or via hashtags. In a public account, anyone will be able to see users’ photos and videos. All follow requests will be approved in a public account unless the users’ delete them. However, having a public account won’t change who can tag, @mention, or message them. Users who have removed the tagging option feature from “everyone” to “No One” will not be affected. So now let’s look at the changes introduced by Instagram.

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Defaulting accounts under 16 to private

The first change as already discussed before is the defaulting of young users’ accounts to private ones. The change would make it difficult for suspicious accounts to find young creators on Instagram accounts. Advertisers also will not be able to target young users with advertisements. The Facebook-owned app with its new technology is potentially “stopping unwanted contact”. For example, creators who have blocked or reported certain accounts belonging to adults. These changes would be implemented immediately starting this week in certain countries, the age is set at under 18. The next obvious question would be what about creators who already have a public Instagram account. We will discuss this in the next section.

Users already having a public account

Creators having a public account will be getting an in-app notification to change their public account to a private one. Instagram is not going to penalize users who wish to keep their public accounts instead. They understand young people wanting to create a fan following base.

Advertising towards the young users

Advertisers can show ads to young people under the age of 18, based solely on their age, gender, and location. Earlier, advertisers could target users based on their interests, their activity, or their behavior on other apps and websites that will be longer available to them. Instagram wants to change that now with relevant ads which are interesting to discover and purchase. These changes will be globally effective in the coming weeks and they will apply to all of its platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger. When young creators turn 18 years, they will be notified about the targeting options advertisers can use to reach them.


Instagram with these changes wants to send out a message to the young minds that their privacy and safety are important to them. They will keep taking such feedback to improve the overall experience of the users. Building an Instagram community is all about trust working simultaneously satisfying the young users but also their parents, lawmakers, and experts.

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