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Want to follow Bud Light on Twitter? You now have to enter your age

Detailed on Twitter’s official blog, the social network has altered the age-verification process specifically for alcohol brands. Basically identical to an age gate on a video game trailer, Twitter users have to enter a date of birth in order to verify that they are of legal drinking age within the country chosen in the user profile settings. Twitter has partnered up with alcohol brands such as Bacardi, Bud Light, Heineken, Jim Beam and Knob Creek to roll out the new format and it will tie directly into the advertising strategy of those brands on Twitter.

Prior to this point, Twitter partnered with Buddy Media to use direct messaging to verify age. That direct message contained a link to a separate age verification screen which required a date of birth confirmation as well as acceptance of an extensive privacy policy. The new method is significantly more user-friendly, both the Web and mobile version. It also automates the unfollow process on the brand’s side, essentially not allowing users to follow the brand’s Twitter account if the user is too young.

Speaking about the safety of the new age-verification system, Twitter product manager Tarun Jain said “Our hope is that this approach to age-screening will enable alcohol brands to responsibly and safely connect with the right audience on Twitter.” Of course, there’s nothing to stop a young Twitter user from entering a fake birthday in order to fool the verification system.

It’s also going to be difficult for advertisers to use this information to target ads to a specific age group since a portion of users concerned about their privacy will simply enter false information into the age gate. According to Twitter, Bud Light is already using information collected from age-screened accounts to target Twitter users over the age of 21 that also have an interest in football.

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