Instagram uses video selfies to make sure you're not a bot

Instagram Logo
Instagram Logo (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram has begun using video selfies for identity verification.
  • The new authentication method is aimed at determining if an account is created by a real person.
  • Instagram promises to not store video selfies for more than 30 days.

Instagram is now using video selfies to combat suspected bots. Instagram is asking users to verify themselves by recording a video selfie, according to a couple of screenshots shared by social media consultant Matt Navarra.

The verification system is designed to detect bots, including accounts that engage in suspicious behavior such as liking a large number of posts and following multiple accounts in a short period of time. According to Instagram, a video selfie can help confirm if the account in question was created by a real person.

In response to Navarra's tweet, Instagram says video selfie verification was unveiled a year ago. However, it was suspended due to technical issues, according to XDA Developers.

The rollout of the verification method appears to be limited only to newly created accounts that are suspected of inauthentic behavior. When it announced the system last year, the Meta-owned social networking service said the verification system would "apply only to a small number of our community."

Instagram also stated that video selfies do not use facial recognition technology. It makes perfect sense given that Meta (formerly Facebook) recently announced the shutdown of its facial recognition system and the removal of over one billion recognized faces from its database. The move was interpreted as an attempt to avoid a regulatory investigation into its privacy practices.

Instagram has also promised to delete video selfies within 30 days of reviewing them in order to protect your privacy. The service also stated that it does not collect biometric data.

The new system could be an effective way of curbing the spread of fake profiles on the platform by asking suspected account owners to record a selfie using their mobile devices, including many of the best Android phones and iOS devices. However, it remains to be seen how resistant the method is to spoofing.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.