Report from jugendschutz.netPurchase functions in social media

Many popular social media services such as Instagram and Snapchat offer purchase functions. These are also interesting for children and young people. Users can support their idols with subscriptions or gifts and draw more attention to their own accounts. Furthermore, additional content or design elements can be unlocked through purchases and subscriptions. But what measures do the services take to protect children and young people from excessive spending and cost traps?

In their guidelines, the services state that minors may only make purchases with the consent of their legal guardians. However, they do not explicitly obtain this consent. In the case of the functions, they partly rely on access restrictions based on the age information given when registering. In the interest of participation and to support the development of financial literacy among young users, targeted support would be desirable instead of exclusion.

The report "Purchase functions in social media" by provides insight into the functions, payment methods and prices offered by nine popular services.