age verification of instagram, Twitter Notes and live events from Spotify

age verification of instagram, Twitter Notes and live events from Spotify

Tech Highlights:

  • Today’s consumers now spend more time in apps than ever before — even topping the time they spend watching TV, in some cases. The average American watches 3.1 hours of TV per day, for example, but in 2021, they spent 4.1 hours on their mobile device. And they’re not even the world’s heaviest mobile users. In markets like Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea, users surpassed five hours per day in mobile apps in 2021. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours, either. They can grow to become huge businesses. In 2021, 233 apps and games generated over $100 million in consumer spend and 13 topped $1 billion in revenue. This was up 20% from 2020, when 193 apps and games topped $100 million in annual consumer spend and just eight apps topped $1 billion.

  • The weekly TechCrunch feature This Week in Apps reviews the most recent developments in mobile OS news, mobile applications, and the app ecosystem as a whole. According to the most recent year-end statistics, the app market will continue to expand, with a record amount of downloads and consumer expenditure across the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021. In China, expenditure on iOS, Google Play, and independent Android app stores increased by 19% to $170 billion in 2021. App downloads increased by 5% to 230 billion in 2021, and mobile ad spending increased by 23% year over year to $295 billion.

This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place, with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions and suggestions about new apps to try, too. Do you want This Week in Apps in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here: techcrunch.com/newsletters. Instagram announced this week it’s testing a new set of features for verifying users’ ages in the app, including things like video selfies, vouching from adult friends and providing an ID. The tests, which will begin in the U.S., will apply to users who try to change their age to 18 or over after being previously set to under 18. These users may be trying to correct an earlier mistake or they could be teens trying to circumvent the app’s newer age-appropriate restrictions.

The company also said it’s using AI that can estimate users’ ages in video selfies. The company is working with the London-based digital identify firm Yoti which will examine the file, make an estimate, then delete the file. Age verification is an increasingly common feature in social apps used by younger users as a result of tighter regulations. Another company catering to Gen Z users, Yubo, recently rolled out its own age estimating tech as well.

If users are prompted to provide an ID card, like a passport or driver’s license, Meta will store it on its servers for 30 days before deletion. If users choose the social vouching option, they’ll need at least three other adult friends to vouch for their age — and Instagram will choose a list of six people randomly who meet the criteria. Those users can’t have a new account or be vouching for others at the same time.

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