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Instagram Introduces New Account Safety Features

Instagram this week announced new features to boost account security and provide users with increased visibility into accounts with a large number of followers.

Instagram this week announced new features to boost account security and provide users with increased visibility into accounts with a large number of followers.

Instagram will soon provide users with the ability to evaluate the authenticity of an account that reaches large audiences. The information will be accessible through an “About This Account” option in the Profile menu, Mike Krieger, Co-Founder & CTO, explains in a blog post.

Information displayed will include the date the account joined Instagram, the country it is located in, accounts with shared followers, username changes in the last year, and details on the ads the account might be running.

The feature appears as a reaction to numerous misinformation campaigns that have been exposed over the past few months, some supposedly originating from Russia or Iran.

“Our community has told us that it’s important to them to have a deeper understanding of accounts that reach many people on Instagram, particularly when those accounts are sharing information related to current events, political or social causes, for example,” Krieger notes.

Starting next month, the social platform will allow people with accounts that reach large audiences to review the information about their accounts. Soon after, the “About This Account” feature will become available to the global community.

Additionally, Instagram is allowing accounts that reach large audiences and meet specific criteria to request verification through a form within the Instagram app. The social platform will review the requests “to confirm the authenticity, uniqueness, completeness and notability of each account,” Krieger says.

The verification request form is available by accessing the menu icon in the Profile section, selecting Settings, and then “Request Verification.” Users requesting verification will need to provide the account username, their full name, and a copy of their legal or business identification.

Instagram will review all requests but might decline verification for some accounts. The verification will be performed free of charge and users won’t be contacted to confirm verification.

Soon, the platform will also include support for third-party authenticator apps for those who choose to use such tools to log into their Instagram accounts.

To take advantage of the feature, users would need to access the profile section, tap the menu icon, go to “Settings,” and then select “Authentication App” in the “Two-Factor Authentication” section. If an authentication app is already installed, Instagram will automatically send a login code to it. Users will need to enter the code on Instagram to enable two-factor authentication.

According to Krieger, support for third-party authenticator apps is already rolling out to users and should reach all of them in the coming weeks.

Related: Iran-Linked Influence Campaign Targets US, Others

Related: Facebook Uncovers Political Influence Campaign Ahead of Midterms

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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