Several Instagram users have reported that the Meta-owned platform is asking users to submit a selfie video clip. Users have claimed that it’s intended for its AI algorithms to confirm their identity. Last year, the social media platform began testing its video verification feature but reportedly halted it due to technical issues.
Users took to Twitter to report that the feature had apparently been reinstated. Users tweeted that they were being asked to submit a video clip of different angles of their face to activate a new account. Reports also suggest that some existing Instagram accounts have been asked to verify their identity with a video selfie to keep using their account.
In response to the chatter on Twitter about the platform’s allegedly reinstated feature, Instagram’s public relations team took to Twitter to clarify that they are not using facial recognition, in a statement that read;
“One of the ways we use video selfies is when we think an account could be a bot. For example, if the account likes lots of posts or follows a ton of accounts in a matter of seconds, video selfies help us determine if there’s a real person behind the account or not.”
A social media consultant named Matt Navara challenged Instagram. He claimed via Twitter that they were collecting biometric data and violating the trust of its users. The platform responded directly to his tweet, stating :
“Instagram doesn’t use facial recognition, and we don’t use it in video selfies. We introduced video selfies more than a year ago to help confirm that there’s a person behind an account and not a bot.”
The practice of using photo verification to confirm a person’s identity is not new. It’s already in use by dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble. Both apps require users to upload several selfies taken from different angles to confirm their identity.
The problem of fake and bot accounts has long plagued Instagram. However, Meta has assured Instagram users that any video imagery collected will be deleted from its servers within thirty days. Reassuring that it will not be used to collect biometric data.