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Championing British Tech!

Big news this week as our London-based BCorp tech client – Yoti - has been selected by Instagram to provide age verification across the social media platform!

Starting this week, Instagram are testing new options for people on Instagram to verify their age, kicking it off with people based in the US. Now, if someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, they’ll require them to verify their age using one of three options: upload their ID, record a video selfie or ask mutual friends to verify their age. It’s a big step towards ensuring that teens and adults get an age-appropriate experience online.

Yoti’s tech plays into the video selfie option – enabling users to verify their age. Guided by on-screen instructions, users take a video selfie which is then shared with Yoti where the tech estimates their age based on facial features. That estimate is then shared with Instagram. In line with Yoti’s privacy values, the image is then instantly deleted.

It’s a hugely positive story and our PR team couldn’t wait to be able to share the news - yes, they’ve been working on this for a while!

You might think: “well it’s a great story, who wouldn’t cover it?” but the overwhelmingly positive coverage was the result of a well-crafted and collaborated campaign (with the lovely IG team) and built on relationships we’ve developed with key journalists over the past year – explaining Yoti’s technology, how it works and sharing other positive stories from them – such as their technology being used at cinemas to ease ‘proof of age’ challenges. Our team have worked particularly hard to ensure that the distinction between facial recognition and age verification is crystal clear (as a quick reminder, the latter doesn’t identify who you are, only your age) to avoid any confusion and reassure folks about this privacy preserving tech.

Working in conjunction with the Instagram PR team, the news finally went live on Thursday this week and we have to say, it’s gone down a treat! With positive coverage achieved across the national press including the Daily Mail, Metro, CityAM and across regional and trade press. Our client is naturally over the moon with the response.

Whilst we can’t share all the audience measurement, we can say that it was a stellar result for the team and on the first day alone, secured 90+ pieces of coverage – that’s over 2.5m online coverage views and 300K+ views across social media networks. Our use of coverage analysis tool Releasd, has come in very handy in demonstrating reach and value!

So, what’s next for the British tech leader? An interview this coming Sunday night with GB News on the future of digital identity – keep a look out at 9:20pm! Other than that, we have more big stories in the pipeline and no doubt lots of newsjacking off the back of more government legislations that are moving us all forward digitally and embracing a number of the technology changes that the pandemic has accelerated. Long live innovation!


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