Yubo becomes the first major social media platform to implement innovative age-verification technology across the entirety of its user base, improving its existing safety platform.
As social media plays an increasingly prominent role in the digital landscape, many popular apps are created to meet the specific needs of new and younger audiences. The growing Gen Z demographic, including users ages 13 to 25, is an especially sought-after yet vulnerable group.
Each social media platform should ensure that users (especially minors) interact only with others in their age group. This age-appropriate separation helps to promote all users’ safe enjoyment of the platform.
Yubo, a Paris-based social live streaming app with global reach, has accepted the challenge. Launched in 2015, Yubo has implemented multiple strategies that ensure minors and adults do not interact on this online platform.
Yubo Relies on an Industry-leading Solution
Recently, Yubo became the first major social media app to integrate age verification across its entire platform. Specifically, Yubo partnered with digital identity leader Yoti to premier a ground-breaking age-verification system (AVS).
How Yubo’s Age-Verification System Works
The Yubo age-verification system is easy to use. To begin, each user takes a real-time face selfie. Next, a liveness algorithm takes a short video of the user. Movement analysis software verifies that the video depicts a live person instead of a Google image or another virtual screenshot.
Next, the proprietary Yoti algorithm analyzes the photo and gives the user an age estimate. If the age estimate does not match the age provided during signup, the user is prompted to provide additional documentation for verification
Once the age-verification process has been completed, the user is routed to the app’s appropriate age group. This scalable process can quickly meet the needs of Yubo’s global user base.
Developed for Minors
Yoti’s AVS is privacy-friendly and does not require the user to provide an ID or sensitive documents. In addition, the user does not have to reveal any personal details. Instead, Yubo’s age-verification system utilizes Yoti’s latest age-estimation technology by simply requiring a single real-time photograph.
This approach is helping Yubo include minors in the age-verification process. Yubo co-founder and CEO Sacha Lazimi explains that “a lot of teenagers – especially [those] under 18 years old – do not have any identity documents.” Implementation of the Yoti software helps Yubo overcome this challenge.
Yoti’s AVS Technology Exhibits Growing Accuracy
On a year-over-year basis, Yoti’s powerful age-verification technology continues to demonstrate improved accuracy. Today, the Yoti algorithm is 98.9 percent accurate in its confirmation that a designated user is above or below a defined age threshold.
To illustrate, Yoti’s age assessment technology correctly estimates 6-to-12-year-old users’ ages within a 1.3-year margin. The algorithm accurately estimates 13-to-18-year-old users’ ages within a 1.5-year margin. Yoti’s increasingly accurate results are based on more than 550 million age evaluations.
Most importantly, Yoti’s age-estimation technology is equally applicable to all ages, genders, and skin tones. In addition, the company’s liveness detection algorithm has been awarded iBeta certification, the recognized industry standard for this methodology.
Since Yubo’s announcement, Yoti’s innovative AVS has also caught the attention of the popular photo-sharing app Instagram. Similar to Yubo, Instagram has partnered with Yoti to beef up its age-verification process. Users across the United States can now verify their age on Instagram in multiple ways: they can upload their ID, record a video selfie (like Yubo users), or ask mutual friends to vouch for them. Yubo, however, is taking this approach even further and intends to verify the ages of all users around the globe by the end of the year.
Why Yubo’s Younger Users are First in Line
To launch its age-verification system, Yubo executed a beta test on the app’s 13-to-14-year-old users before scaling the system to 100% of all app users by the end of 2022. Yubo chose to focus on its youngest users since they are most at risk on social apps. The new Yubo AVS ensures that this user population can interact only with other same-aged users. All current and new Yubo users will be required to verify their age.
A recent TechCrunch report states that “on average, Yubo processed 6,500 verifications per day in 2021. Following this verification, 67,000 accounts per month were suspended due to discrepancies in age … .” Yoti will help the app navigate this large number of discrepancies.
Yubo’s AVS Enhances Its Suite of Safety and Security Measures
The new Yubo age-verification system is the most recent enhancement to the platform’s user safety features. In addition to utilizing this sophisticated technology, Yubo regularly consults with well-regarded online safety professionals. These experts work with Yubo to implement cutting-edge security measures and ensure the platform remains a safe space for all users.
Yubo’s safety features include the following:
Live Stream Intervention Functionality
Typically, social media exchanges include a lag time (latency) between the first person’s comment and the second person’s response. Online moderators also face the same frustrating lag time when making comments and/or executing interventions.
Fortunately, Yubo has introduced an online live streaming real-time intervention component. In fact, it was the first social media app to implement real-time moderation in live streams.
Yubo has combined artificial intelligence (AI) and human moderation to monitor online behavior. Through simultaneous use of both components, Yubo can identify users who are breaking platform rules and/or compromising their own well-being. Sophisticated AI filters achieve this objective by seamlessly tracking each live stream via second-by-second screenshots.
If the ever-vigilant AI filters flag inappropriate content, human moderators are given a real-time alert. They quickly enter the live stream conversation and resolve the issue. To illustrate, the AI filters search for nudity or partial nudity (such as images of underwear). The AI filters also identify non-permitted content, including suggestive images, blood, violence, weapons of any type, and drug use.
User Education Messages and Modifications
If a Yubo user is about to share sensitive personal information or is participating in inappropriate behavior, the user receives a real-time pop-up alert message. The user is asked to think about the action’s implications before continuing.
In addition, Yubo users who don’t wish to see certain words and phrases can now block them. The Muted Words feature enables users to enjoy more control over viewable content by muting certain words they find personally triggering or harmful. In addition, they can take increased ownership of their interactions on the Yubo platform.
Because Yubo’s users are diverse, coming from around the world, the company is focused on building a positive and welcoming community for all. To ensure this happens, the app has instituted a set of Community Guidelines that all users must agree to when creating an account. These rules include being kind and respectful, never harassing or bullying others, seeking permission before using pictures or videos of others, and never sharing racist, sexist, homophobic, or other discriminatory content. Any violation of these rules is taken seriously and can result in a warning, the removal of content, or the blocking of a user account.
Yubo also relies on users to report any suspicious behavior, questionable content, or other concerns, so it can investigate and take appropriate action. The app provides multiple ways to report concerns, and Yubo’s team of safety specialists is quick to respond: within minutes if the report is about a live stream and within an hour if it is about a user profile.
Yubo’s Safety Advisory Board Plays a Key Role
Yubo strongly believes that taking a proactive approach to user safety is important. To implement an evidence-based safety strategy and ensure compliance with accepted online safety practices, Yubo regularly collaborates with its international Safety Advisory Board. The company has consulted with these recognized online safety professionals since 2019.
Yubo also works with other entities dedicated to user safety. The company’s diverse partners include governments, charitable groups, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Yubo: Where Young Minds Can Express Themselves Safely
As one of the primary social media apps of choice among Gen Z, Yubo is committed to protecting its young users from online dangers. With its new age-verification technology, the company can ensure that teens interact only with users of the same age. This innovative feature is just one of several safety measures the company has taken to fulfill its mission of creating “a safe and fun virtual space” for all users.
Social live-streaming app Yubo offers Gen Zers an evolving platform that aligns with their values and interests. Founded in 2015, Yubo has expanded to reach more than 60 million users throughout 40 countries. Millions of Gen Zers log onto the Yubo app every day. They enjoy chatting, live streaming their favorite activities, and playing games with friends.
Most importantly, Yubo maintains a signature focus on respect, safety, and authenticity and gives young people a space free from the pressures of “likes” and “follows.” This dedication to users’ well-being helps to ensure positive, affirming experiences for everyone on the Yubo platform. This core emphasis enables Yubo to continue its leadership in the social media arena.