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Twitter Intros Age Screening To Block Underage Followers

Twitter has introduced a new feature called Age Screening. As the name implies, it's an online tool for brands and other age-sensitive parties to determine whether a follower meets a minimum age requirement in a way that is consistent with relevant industry or legal guidelines.

The tool arrives by way of a collaboration between Twitter and Buddy Media. The two have reportedly worked together on the project over the last few months at the request of brands whom have asked for native age screening. Bottom line is that it's a free tool for alcohol brands and marketers who want to advertize on Twitter, but need a quick way to filter out the underage audience.

According to Buddy Media, the service has been in beta testing for the last month. Now the two parties are formally launching the solution and making it available to any marketer.

"The Twitter and Buddy Media solution solves a challenge many marketers have faced in confirming their followers are of age to follow their brand," Buddy Media said on Thursday. "Until now, companies have had to develop their own custom, one-off 'age-screening' solutions. The result has been a patchwork of solutions with different approaches, processes and levels of success."

The system works like this: when a Twitter user clicks to follow a brand (like @JackHoney, @CoorsLite and @MillerLite), the person automatically receives a Direct Message from the brand leading to age.twitter.com. The user visits the linked verification page and enters their age; this information is not shared with the brand.

Thus, if the user meets the age threshold set by the brand, they will automatically follow the brand. If the user does not meet the age threshold the brand has set for their country, they will be unable to continue following the brand.

"This solution is also convenient for Twitter users. Once a user has supplied their age through this process, they won’t have to do so again if they want to follow other brands using this solution," Buddy Media said. "The result is a solution that makes marketers’ lives easier, without creating extra work for the brand or the user."

Companies interested in using this feature are encouraged to sign up at https://age.twitter.com/ to submit their brand for approval.