This is the new minimum age to be able to use WhatsApp starting April 11

WhatsApplike other platforms Goal and other large technology companies, is going through a series of necessary changes to adapt to the Digital Markets Law and the Digital Services Law in Europe. In the case of the messaging application, the most notable of all is the interoperabilitywhich will allow a WhatsApp user to communicate with another messaging app without anyone having to leave their own.

Another change that WhatsApp has just announced is to modify the minimum age to use the application and that Meta will to be reduced from 16 to 13 years old effective from the next April 11. The company has updated its support page informing of the new terms of service and privacy policies that will come into effect on that date for users in the European Union.

Thus, WhatsApp will add “more information about the guidelines and policies we apply, which describe what is and is not allowed on WhatsApp”, about the option to send WhatsApp messages to supported third-party applications and about some aspects of the channels such as the rules, how to report content, appeal decisions and how WhatsApp recommends channels to users.

The change in age that accompanies these modifications follows that of 2018 which increased the minimum age in Europe from 13 to 16, to now go the opposite way. WhatsApp justifies it by what it wants unify this criterion throughout the world.

And what happens if a user does not have the minimum age required to use the messaging platform? So far nothing. Today, WhatsApp does not use any age verification method Therefore, although it contravenes the conditions of service, it does not usually have consequences since it is not verified. But if you detect this non-compliance, you can suspend the affected account.

Now, although WhatsApp has not indicated anything in this regard, The Digital Services Law is clear in this regard. Providers of large online platforms, such as WhatsApp, must “take specific measures to protect the rights of the child, including age verification and parental control tools, tools intended to help minors report abuse or obtain support, as appropriate.” So age verification should arrive sooner rather than later.