Yubo to Become First Major Social Media Platform to Age-Verify 100% Of Its Users – MarTech Series

September 21, 2022

Yubo, a live social discovery platform for Gen Z, is the first major social media app in the world to implement comprehensive age-verification for all its users, a groundbreaking milestone in a key area of concern in online safety today.
In partnership with leading digital identity provider Yoti, Yubo first introduced this age-verification system in May for users ages 13 and 14, with the goal of scaling verification across all ages by year-end. Following the successful trial, the technology integration was accelerated, with all Apple users becoming verified three months ahead of schedule. The new age-verification technology will be fully deployed to Android users, who make up roughly 10 percent of users on Yubo, in the coming weeks.
The new system further mitigates risks of child abuse and other such acts by preventing users who might misrepresent their age for ill intent from joining the platform. Age-verification technology also strengthens age-gating on Yubo, which separates users into different communities based on age to limit interaction betweens teens and adults – a unique feature among social media platforms today.
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“Our commitment to empowering Gen Z to express themselves and connect authentically online is second only to our commitment to continually advancing Yubo’s position as a leader in safety innovation,” said Yubo CEO Sacha Lazimi. “By continually applying new safety measures, such as mandatory age verification, to our platform, we are taking a clear stance that we are willing to drive away a portion of users in order to prioritize making Yubo as safe as it can possibly be.”
Yubo’s new age-verification system prompts first-time users signing up for an account, or existing users who haven’t yet been verified, to take a real-time photo of their face on the app, using Yoti’s facial age estimation technology. Yoti’s technology accurately estimates age by looking at an image of a face, which is analyzed as a pattern of pixels. The technology converts the pixels to numbers and matches them to an age. Designed with privacy at its core, the system has no way of linking a face to a name. If analysis detects a discrepancy between the age provided and Yoti’s facial age estimation, additional identification steps to access Yubo are required, through an in-app process overseen by Yubo Safety Specialists in accordance with “privacy by design” principles set forth by European data privacy laws.
Yoti is able to correctly verify with 98.9 percent accuracy that a user is above or below a given age threshold consistently across all ages, genders, and skin tones, and its technology is certified by iBeta, the gold standard for such technologies. Yoti is a trusted partner of major retail and financial services firms, business software clients, government agencies and the Post Office of the United Kingdom, where Yoti is headquartered.
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“With over 60 million users, Yubo understands the immense challenge of ensuring that their community remains safe,” said Yoti CEO Robin Tombs. “By using our industry-leading age verification across their entire platform, users who want to enjoy Yubo responsibly have an easy, privacy-preserving tool to verify their age. We are proud to collaborate with Yubo to help safeguard young people and create age appropriate experiences online.”
All developments and policies on the platform are guided by the expertise of Yubo’s Safety Board, which is made up of respected thought leaders from such organizations as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Thorn, and INTERPOL.
“Yubo has gone above and beyond to enhance the online experiences of Gen Z on its platform by proactively mitigating safety risks,” said Annie Mullins OBE, Yubo Independent Safety Advisor and former executive of Yahoo! UK and Vodafone, where she led user-protection programs and other such initiatives. “Its rapid, full-scale deployment of sophisticated age-verification technology with Yoti is just the latest evidence of its unwavering commitment to online safety innovation.”
In addition to implementing age-verification tech across its entire platform, Yubo is also the first social media platform in the world to introduce real-time audio and video moderation of livestreams, with instant intervention from human Safety Specialists when needed. In addition to Safety Specialists and the Emergency Escalation team members who support them, a range of cutting-edge technical tools also monitor activity on Yubo.
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