In June, Twitter teamed up with Buddy Media to create an age-checking tool, which would allow alcohol companies to verify their followers’ ages and target the over-21 audience.
Recent revisions to the alcohol industry’s marketing code requires brands to check ages before engaging fans on social media. Since Twitter doesn’t require age upon sign-up, marketing on the platform has been challenging.
This week, the duo announced that its age screening system, which originally launched with select partners, is now open for registration. If you’d like to use this feature, submit your brand for approval.
Once approved, you’ll be able to select the minimum age of your followers in geographic regions across the world. Buddy Media simplified this process by indexing the minimum drinking age for all countries so you can set these ages as requirements with just one click.
The system works like this: The first time an individual follows an alcohol company or brand, he or she will be sent a Direct Message with a link to verify his or her age. Once verified, he or she will be able to follow any alcohol brand without needed to re-submit proof of age.
Unfortunately there is a bit of a down side to the system: Twitter is relying on honesty. “We are trusting users to input their valid birth date,” explains Guy Yalif, head of product marketing at Twitter. “We have no plans to self identify their valid birthdate or cross-reference this with third-party data.”
Although you might not be comfortable with the scout’s honor system, it does provide alcohol brands a work-around, from a somewhat legal standpoint, for advertising on the microblogging platform.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.