As social media has progressed in the last decade or so, no one has quite figured outhow to completely protect and prohibit younger demographics from accessing adult content on social networks.
Twitter is giving it another try with help from Buddy Media through a new initiative dubbed "age-screening." The concept is actually quite simple. Through the Twitter and Buddy Media solution, marketers for adult brands can screen for followers based on their age and block them if they don't meet the minimum age requirement.
Buddy Media co-founder and CEO Michael Lazerow explained the process in a blog post:
1. A user clicks to follow @brand.
2. The brand automatically Direct Messages [Link: https://support.twitter.com/articles/14606] the user with a link to age.twitter.com.
3. The user visits age.twitter.com and enters their age; this information is not shared with the brand.
4. 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.
All of the examples of adult brands on Twitter pertain to Twitter handles for alcoholic beverage companies, although the solution could be extended to other products that come with a legal age limit, such as cigarettes.
Certainly, there could be ways to get around this system -- especially if underage Internet users are determined to do so. It happens on Facebook and other social networks. It will certainly continue on Twitter as well.
Nevertheless, marketers at least have the option of using a direct Twitter solution for any brand in order to get their followers to confirm their age.
The free service is available now for marketers representing industries with age-related requirements who are interested in marketing on Twitter.
After some media speculation this spring, Buddy Media was acquired by Salesforce.com in June. The social enterprise giant paid $689 million for Buddy Media in a cash and stock transaction that represents how social networking is becoming critical to marketing.