Yubo, a live social discovery platform for Gen Z, said it will soon become the first major social media app in the world to implement comprehensive age-verification for all its users.
In partnership with digital identity provider Yoti, first introduced this age-verification system in May for users aged 13 and 14, with the goal of scaling verification across all ages by year-end. Following the successful trial, the technology integration was accelerated, with all Apple users becoming verified three months ahead of schedule. The new age-verification technology will be fully deployed to Android users, who make up roughly 10 per cent of users on Yubo, in the coming weeks.
The new system further mitigates risks of child abuse and other such acts by preventing users who might misrepresent their age for ill intent from joining the platform. Age-verification technology also strengthens age-gating on Yubo, which separates users into different communities based on age to limit interaction betweens teens and adults – a unique feature among social media platforms today.
“Our commitment to empowering Gen Z to express themselves and connect authentically online is second only to our commitment to continually advancing Yubo’s position as a leader in safety innovation,” said Yubo CEO Sacha Lazimi. “By continually applying new safety measures, such as mandatory age verification, to our platform, we are taking a clear stance that we are willing to drive away a portion of users in order to prioritise making Yubo as safe as it can possibly be."
Yubo’s new age-verification system prompts first-time users signing up for an account, or existing users who haven’t yet been verified, to take a real-time photo of their face on the app. Yoti’s facial age estimation technology accurately estimates age by looking at the image, which is analysed as a pattern of pixels. The technology converts the pixels to numbers and matches them to an age. Designed with privacy at its core, the system has no way of linking a face to a name. If analysis detects a discrepancy between the age provided and Yoti’s facial age estimation, additional identification steps to access Yubo are required, through an in-app process overseen by Yubo Safety Specialists in accordance with ‘Privacy by Design’ principles set forth by European data privacy laws.
Yoti is able to correctly verify with 98.9 per cent accuracy that a user is above or below a given age threshold consistently, across all ages, genders, and skin tones, and its technology is certified by iBeta, the gold standard for such technologies. Yoti is a trusted partner of major retail and financial services firms, business software clients, government agencies and the Post Office of the United Kingdom, where Yoti is headquartered.