Twitter introduces age screening for adult brands

13 Jul 2012

Users on Twitter who wish to follow brands suitable for grown-ups only, like those promoting alcohol or gambling, will now have to submit their age for verification.

In a partnership with Buddy Media, Twitter has introduced an age-screening facility for adult brands.

Unveiled yesterday, the free service was initially beta-tested with a selection of alcohol brands over the past month, including Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Coors Light.

How does it work?

What happens is, users click the ‘Follow’ button on an age-restricted brand’s Twitter page, and this automatically sends them a direct message with a link asking them to verify their age by entering their birth date.

Only when the user is determined to be of an appropriate age to connect with the brand in question will they then be able to follow the brand.

Brands can control what age is acceptable for users across different countries, which is particularly useful where age restrictions for consuming alcohol or gambling vary.

The good news for users is they won’t have to enter their age every time they try to follow one of these brands as the service remembers the age that was entered the first time. However, according to Josh Constine on TechCrunch, this apparently resets itself after an undisclosed period of time, in case the user made a mistake.

Age screening was requested by brands who want to keep their online marketing from causing them any legal issues when it comes to underage users. It’s an opt-in service and any brand that wants this added to its Twitter account can visit to do so.

Age restriction image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.