Twitter introduced ‘age gate’ screening over a year ago in order to make the platform more legally sound for ‘adult’ brands like liquor and beer vendors. Today, it’s streamlined the process in its apps greatly in order to improve the follow rate and therefore the attractiveness of running an active account for those brands.
The previous method, which was instituted last June, involved following the brand, receiving a DM that took you to another page, asking for your age and then kicking you back and allowing you to follow. The new process creates an in-app flow that uses the standard iOS date picker to tap in your date of birth and then allows an immediate follow.
In addition to the easier flow, Twitter says that it will remember your status as a ‘legal adult’ (but will not store your date of birth). This makes it even easier to follow more adult brands once you’ve followed the first.
This method, and the previous method for that matter, are basically the same thing that you see implemented on any website with ‘over 18’ content. There is no validation of your date of birth in any fashion, so there’s nothing to prevent a minor from lying and following Jim Beam on Twitter. But there is a solid legal basis for indemnification of pandering to minors if even a simple, easily bypassed gate is in place. Basically, Twitter and the brands are both safe as long as they can say they asked the question.
The obvious side-effect of this is to make it much more attractive for adult brands to inhabit their Twitter accounts and to improve the chances that those brands will feel it’s worthwhile to advertise on Twitter. And Twitter gets to tout the fact that the brands are advertising directly to people that have ‘proven’ they’re in a viable customer group for the product they’re trying to sell.
Image credit: Garrett Heath/Flickr CC