Instagram throws out users under the age of 13


Several Swedish bloggers and media report that Instagram users under the age of 13 have had their accounts closed or frozen the last few days. In some cases, users are required by Instagram to provide their age, in other cases they have to prove their age with identification documents. These incidents are occuring at the same time as Instagram’s new User Agreement entered into force, which harmonized with Facebook’s agreement. My own children confirm that this is actually happening right now.

Users that Instagram suspect are under 13 have had their accounts locked and are sent a message that says they are required to send in an image of and ID such as a passport or a school ID (which is unusual in Sweden) to prove their age. Some are also finding that their Facebook accounts are also locked and according to Deeped Niclas Strandh, there are signs that some are locked out of their Facebook accounts, but that the accounts are still live. This means that others could comment on their walls and posts but they are unable to respond themselves.

“My daughter’s Instagram account was locked and got this message, says Björn Sveen to SVT. She is 12 years and 9 months so she can not just send in a picture of her passport to prove that she’s 13, not that I would let her send it a picture with such sensitive information.”

Screen shots of the messages from Instagram and Facebook can be found both on and Deeped Niclas Strand, see links above.

I have not seen any similar reports outside of Sweden. Do you know of any more cases?

Flickr image via wiccked.

Top Facebook pages in Sweden in August 2012

Game developer Free Lunch Design is still the Swedish brand with most fans on Facebook, according to the August 2012 report from Socialbakers. The only change in the top 10 list is that Apotekarnes Julmust has been replaced by amusement park Liseberg in the number 10 spot.

The most popular media page, Vakna! med the Voice, had almost zero growth since July, but it is still in a clear lead for the top spot in this list.

Top Swedish Facebook pages August 2012

Infographic: H&M vs Spotify on Twitter

H&M is the Swedish brand with most followers on Twitter. But Spotify, which is the second largest brand, creates more engagement around each tweet.

Here is an infographic that illustrates the battle for the top spot among Swedish brands on Twitter. Created with

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Edelman Trust Barometer 2012 says trust in social media is up

The latest installement of the Edelman Trust Barometer has now been published and as usual, it is interesting reading. This year, there have been some dramatic changes in the views of the public in most of the countries surveyed. Trust in government, business and NGO’s is declining while trust in media is rising.

Trust in government shows an exceptionally sharp drop in the 2012 Barometer, after rising steadily for four years. In Sweden (“informed public”), trust in government is quite stable, dropping only from 64% to 62%, making Sweden the market with the fourth highest level of trust in government. Trust in business is also decreasing, although in Sweden it is acutally up from 52% to 54%, possibly thanks to the relatively stable Swedish economy compared to many other countries.

If we look at different media sources, it is interesting to see the dramatic increase in trust in social media, now almost at the same level as corporate information. Note: responses are for “informed public”, i.e. college educated, high income, high media consumption.


Overall, there is a huge drop in trust for CEO’s while trust in pers such as regular employees and “a person like yourself” is increasing dramatically.


In other words, there is less trust in messages communicated by CEO’s through traditional corporate channels and increased trust in messages from our peers, communicated through for example social media channels. There’s a lot more to read and you’ll find the whole presentation here below.

Your Facebook page is a litmus test of your brand’s health

Since I started blogging in early 2004, I’ve heard over and over again how brands have lost control of their reputation. Power has shifted away from brands and towards customers, employees and other individuals. With new publishing platforms, ordinary citizens have gotten the possibility to voice their opinions and influence businesses and organizations trough social media. Nowhere is this more evident today than on brand pages on Facebook.

litmus test

Due to the sheer volume of individuals that are present on Facebook, any people that have a bone to pick with a brand will almost automatically gravitate towards the Facebook page of that company simply because of the amount of exposure that comment can get. Sure, you can still influence by writing blog posts and using other channels, but writing on the wall on a Facebook page is more direct, you feel like you are talking directly to the brand and its customers, right on its turf.

If you visit the Facebook page of a brand and it is nothing but a steady stream of negative comments, it will probably influence how you view this brand (see also my post about Chiquita on Facebook). Take a look at General Motors for example. I’ve written two blog posts about how Saab fans have turned the GM page into a big mess, while GM have done nothing. But GM have other problems on Facebook. People are complaining about everything from problems with cars to bad service. They are complaining about working conditions and the fact that GM killed off the Pontiac brand.

When GM wishes everyone a nice holiday, “fans” are responding with all sorts of negative comments, mostly about the decision by GM to cut Christmas bonuses for retirees. This post has 106 comments, at least half are probably negative.

General Motors comment bonus

It has now been more than two weeks since the first outburst of criticism from angry Saab fans and finally we are starting to see some activity from GM. There aren’t as many Saab photos posted as it was a week or two ago, but they keep coming. But maybe this incident pushed GM into taking a bit more care of their page than they previously did. Representatives from GM Customer Service have now responded to a few posts by fans and even the admin of the GM page has responded a few times.

A brand should not let critics run their Facebook page. If you are the subject of a smear campaign, like GM with the Saab story, you can’t comment on everything but you need to find a balance where you let critics comment but you don’t surrender the entire conversation to your opponents. As a brand, listen to the opinion and try actively to solve the issue.

Facebook has become an important driver of corporate reputation. If you don’t think that your Facebook page reflects reality, then you should do something about it. If you don’t, we are left to believe that this is how the world views your brand.

Socialbakers Facebook report for Sweden – Nov 2011

Since I am an official blogger partner to social media statistics site Socialbakers, I will be posting monthly country reports about Swedish Facebook pages from now on. The first report is for November 2011 (data from Oct 25 to Nov 24) and can be found below. As you can see, there are almost 4.5 million Swedish Facebook users and the top brand in terms of number of fans is the candy Hallonlakritsskalle.

Top page overall in terms of number of fans is the Swedish/Lebanese singer Maher Zain with 3.2 million fans.

The highest level of engagement can be found on the Body Shop’s Swedish page, while Arla has the highest response rate (100% responses to questions on the wall page during the last 30 days) and also the highest Page Score (a Socialbakers metric made up of 30 different parameters).

Socialbakers Social Media Report Facebook Pages Sweden Nov 2011

There are some pages that would make it to the top ten and if you would like to suggest missing pages to Socialbakers you can do it here. I will add a few that I know of.