Instagram brings user experience to India | Tech Reddy


New Delhi: Meta’s Instagram has extended the trial version of the number recognition on its platform to India, after announcing the project on 23 June.

Meta said on Thursday that the test to verify the age of users on the platform is being expanded to India and Brazil, and will also be offered to users in the United Kingdom and the European Union before end of 2022.

Meta offers users three ways to verify their age. Those selected in the examination phase can submit a government-approved document to verify the age. For example, users can record a personal video through the Instagram app, and Meta will “use technology” to verify it. Finally, Meta also offers a way for the user’s friends to ‘confirm’ the previous year.

Currently, it is not clear whether the move will be part of the union government’s 2021 law that calls for ‘voluntary verification’ of user identities on ‘major’ social media platforms in India, i.e. platforms with more than 5 million registered users (not active) .

The option is only for Instagram, it is not yet clear if that will be rolled out on Facebook and WhatsApp as well.

In February last year, the union government notified the Information Technology (Digital Mediation Guidelines and Code of Ethics), 2021 (or IT Act, 2021). Under this law, Rule 4(7) stated that the country’s major social media intermediaries allow users in the country “to verify their accounts using any reasonable method, including credit Indian mobile phones of those users.”

The law also said that in cases of verification, the platforms will provide users with a “visible and visible proof of verification”.

On August 7, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister for IT, reminded the Parliament that all social media providers need to provide this feature to their users. Instagram’s move to enable this test comes two months after Chandrasekhar responded in Parliament.

According to an estimate by the market researcher Statista, in January this year, Instagram and Facebook have approximately 230 million monthly active users, WhatsApp approximately 400 million.

For Instagram, India is the largest market for its geographical distribution of users.

The union government is looking to enforce identity verification of users across a range of services, including the issuance of SIM cards. Last month, the Draft Telecom Bill proposed a penalty for 50,000 or one year of imprisonment for users who use fake identification documents to purchase credit.

Bringing social media services like WhatsApp under its ambit, the Bill also said that punishment would be imposed even on users who “fake” their identities on these platforms.

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