Facebook says it will stop allowing advertisers to target people under age 18 on its platforms based on their interests or activity on other websites.

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The social media giant, which owns Instagram, broke the news on Tuesday in a blog post about young users.

It said the change means advertisers will soon be able to target under-18s only by age, gender, or location on Facebook, its messenger service, and Instagram, its photo-sharing platform.

Instagram, in another blog post, said it was making the change because it agreed with youth advocates that young people might not be equipped to make decisions about targeting.

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The company said it was working on an Instagram experience for tweens.

It said under-16 will also start to be defaulted to having a private account when they join the platform in an effort to stop unwanted contact from adults, although they can always switch to a public account.

Facebook’s approach to younger users has been in the spotlight after lawmakers in the United States criticised its leaked plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13.

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Earlier this year, more than 40 state attorneys general wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, against the idea.

But the company said the idea of a youth-focused app is to provide parents greater transparency and controls on what younger children who want to access Instagram are doing.



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