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The Minimum Age to Use Facebook (and more)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the key messages at our Internet Safety School events is helping parents understand what age their children should be before they can legally use popular sites online.

It’s little known  that most social networking sites require users to be at least 13 years old before they can sign up. And for e-commerce sites like Amazon and Ebay, the minimum age is usually 18 years.

The simple rule for parents is:

Birthday-Cake-13

If your child cannot yet spell out ‘Happy Birthday’ on their cake using candles for each letter, they’re too young to accept the terms of use for most social networking sites.

Of course, it’s never this simple for parents and carers. The peer pressure that children feel in the classroom and playground to start using sites like Facebook and Instagram can be intense. And while I would never publicly advocate encouraging a child to lie about their age online, the simple fact is that many do. It’s up to every parent to decide what they feel comfortable with, and then to set out the rules that their children should follow. That’s what being a parent is about; no-one said it would be easy!

I’ve compiled this summary of the minimum age limits for some of the most popular sites online today. Please note that the information is correct at the time of posting, but is subject to change. Check with the Terms Of Use page on each site to ensure you are using the most up-to-date information.

Site or App

Minimum Age (years)

Amazon

18

Badoo

18

Chatroulette

18 (although no account needed)

Club Penguin

None (aimed at 6 to 14 years)

Ebay

18

Facebook

13

Flickr

13

Foursquare

13

Google

13

Google Wallet

18

Habbo

13

Instagram

13

LinkedIn

13

LoveFilm

18

MySpace

14

Netflix

18

Pinterest

13

Skype

13

Snapchat

13
(under 17s must have parental permission,
under 13s can use the SnapKidz service)

Spotify

13

Twitter

13

Vine

17+ rating

WeChat

13

WhatsApp

16

YouTube

13
(viewing blocks apply to age-classified videos only)