Instagram Announces Support for Third-Party Authentication Apps, New Path to Verification, and More

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Instagram wants to make sure that there are a variety of different tools in place to help its users feel safe, whether that’s revealing even more information about certain profiles or offering support for third-party apps that can add a layer of security to logging in.

On Tuesday, Instagram officially announced a trio of new features that will begin rolling out this week. The first two are designed to provide even more information about accounts, whether it’s your own or another, while the third is meant to offer up another option for two-factor authentication for a more secure log-on process and security.

Instagram's new "About This Account" panel

“About This Account” is a new feature that will let users see even more context about specific accounts. When this feature rolls out in the coming weeks, users will be able to visit a profile, select the “…”, and then tap the “About This Account” option. The next screen will show you the country of origin for the account your own, if its has undergone any username changes, when the account joined Instagram, and more.

“Our community has told us that it’s important to them to have a deeper understanding of accounts that reach many people on Instagram, particularly when those accounts are sharing information related to current events, political or social causes, for example. If you do see an account on Instagram you believe violates our Community Guidelines, you can report it.”

Getting verified on a social network like Instagram typically means the account has been vetted in some way or another, making accounts with large following numbers a bit more official. And now Instagram is making a form within the app that account owners can access and use to request verification from the Facebook-owned social network directly.

“To access the verification request form, go to your profile, tap the menu icon, select “Settings” at the bottom and then choose “Request Verification.” You will need to provide your account username, your full name and a copy of your legal or business identification. This information will not be shared publicly.”

Instagram makes sure to point out that just because an account sends the form to the social network to request verification doesn’t necessarily mean the account will earn it.

Finally, support for third-party authentication apps. This means that you can have another option for two-step verification, adding another layer of security for your sign-in on the platform:

“To use a third-party app to log into your Instagram account, go to your profile, tap the menu icon, select “Settings” at the bottom and then choose “Two-Factor Authentication.” Select “Authentication App” as your preferred form of authentication. If you already have an authentication app installed, we will automatically find the app and send a login code to it. Go to the app, retrieve the code and enter it on Instagram, and two-factor authentication will turn on automatically. If you don’t have one installed yet, we will send you to the App Store or Google Play Store to download the authenticator app of your choice. Once you’ve installed it, return to Instagram to continue setting up your two-factor authentication.”

These new additions will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

Our Take

These changes are a nice boost to the platform. That direct request for verification will hopefully make sifting through accounts that “deserve” it or not a bit more straightforward for the folks at the social network working behind-the-scenes. The best new addition is support for third-party authentication apps like Authy, though.

[via Instagram]