What is the minimum age for WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok and Co.

Parents are increasingly being asked by their children whether they are allowed to use Instagram, WhatsApp , TikTok or other online services. One argument that parents are likely to know very well is "The others are allowed to do it too! In many cases, peer pressure actually plays a big role. If the majority of the class uses WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. for exchanges, children either don't get a lot of information at all or get it too late. However, this should in no way mean rashly allowing their use.

Social networks and messengers are not suitable for all ages. For example, the use of popular services is subject to age restrictions imposed by the providers, which can be found in the terms of use.

Even though there is usually no verification of the actual age, parents should take these age restrictions seriously and talk to their child about why the use of certain services may not (yet) be suitable for their child. In addition, there are also suitable offers for younger children to make their first experiences with online communication in an environment that is as safe as possible.

Minimum age according to terms of use

According to Facebook , users can log on to at the age of 13 with the permission of their legal guardians. From the age of 16, users can freely use the social network. However, there is no age verification.

 According to 's terms of use, the minimum age here is 13 years. The app asks the age of users if the Instagram account is not linked to Facebook.

In 2018, the messenger service increased the minimum age for European users from 13 to 16 years in its Terms of Use . For under-16s, the parent or guardian must consent to the use of the service.

The age specifications in the Terms of Use are not easy to understand on YouTube. However, the following applies overall: Strictly speaking, all children and young people under 18 years require parental consent for any use of YouTube (i.e. even just watching videos).

Children under 16 are not allowed to create a Google account themselves. Consequently, they cannot register with YouTube. Exception: the parents have a Google account, activate a sub-account for the child and thus open up access possibilities for the child, which they can, however, manage/restrict/supervise themselves.

From the age of 16, YouTube registration can be done with the child's own Google account (however, parental consent is still required for YouTube registration). For younger children, parents can set up an account at YouTube Kids .

The music video network states in the terms of use that users must be at least 13 years old. However, users under the age of 18 need the consent of a parent or guardian.

The photo-sharing app requires a minimum age of 13 in its Terms of Use .

To be allowed to use the popular streaming service for music, Spotify, you have to be18 years old according to the Terms and Conditions . The use from 16 years is allowed, provided that the legal guardianshaveagreed . Since mid-2020, the Spotify Kids service has been offered, which may also be used by children and young people and only contains content suitable for this age group. However, Spotify Kids is only accessible if a paid Spotify Premium Family subscription has been taken out.

It is recommended that parents create a separate child profile for their children and additionally secure their own profiles. In 2020, Netflix has expanded the parental control settings so that each profile can be customized and protected with a PIN, for example.