Instagram rolls out an account deletion option on iOS to comply with Apple’s new policy

Image Credits: SOPA Images / Getty Images

You can now delete your Instagram directly from the mobile app. The Meta-owned social media app has now rolled out a new option that lets you opt to delete or deactivate your Instagram account on iOS in order to comply with Apple’s updated App Store Review Guidelines that now mandate all apps that offer account creation must also include account deletion within the app as well.

Until now, you had to log in to Instagram through a web browser on a desktop or mobile in order to delete your account. The company said it’s now introducing this option within its iOS app. Earlier you could deactivate the account through the app, but this doesn’t delete your data from Instagram’s servers. The app itself didn’t offer any information about the full deletion option, so many users may have simply deactivated their accounts instead of deleting them fully.

Image Credits: Instagram

Image Credits: Instagram

“We want to give people more ways to control their experience and time spent on Instagram. We’ve rolled out the option to delete your account in Settings on iOS, and you’ll still have the option to temporarily disable your account before choosing to delete it.” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

If you proceed with account deletion on the app, you still have 30 days to stop Instagram from removing your account. This is in line with Apple’s guidelines as the company says it’s acceptable if account deletion takes time after the initiation. However, it also works the same as deactivation in the sense that it gives users a cooling-off period during which time they may reconsider whether they want to leave the app entirely. If they launch the app again during this time frame, their account will no longer be queued for deletion.

Image Credits: Instagram

In May, Apple had informed developers that it will enforce a policy to mandatory include account deletion methods in apps from June 30. The Cupertino-based company said apps that don’t comply with these rules might face delays in review when they submit updates.

“If your app supports account creation, you must also offer account deletion within the app. Apps may not require users to enter personal information to function, except when directly relevant to the core functionality of the app or required by law,” the company said in its guidelines.

The firm had mentioned that simply offering deactivating accounts won’t be enough. It specified that apps should offer “delete the entire account record, along with associated personal data. You may include additional options, but only offering to temporarily deactivate or disable an account is insufficient.”

As shown in the screenshot above, Instagram still highlights the deactivation option as the primary choice by using a big blue button that encourages users to click through. Meanwhile, the deletion option below that isn’t highlighted.

Other apps are also now coming into line with Apple’s new policy. Meta-owned WhatsApp and Signal offer account deletion within their apps, but Spotify — a frequent Apple critic and antitrust agitator —  only offers a link to an account deletion page. Telegram also doesn’t offer an option to delete an account. TechCrunch has reached out to these companies to ask if they plan to update their apps to comply with Apple’s policy and will update if we hear back.

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