Instagram is one of the most popular apps with students between the ages of 8-18.
We created a parent guide for Instagram to help you better understand this popular student app.
Listen to this episode on our podcast:
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a free photo-sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a filter, and share it on the service or a variety of other social networking services, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr, and Posterous.
Instagram is owned by Facebook (since April 2012)
Facebook acquired mobile photo sharing app Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram remains an independently branded standalone app that’s separate from Facebook, but the services increased their ties to each other.
From Tech Crunch
What’s the age requirement?
From Chicago Now
How to start using Instagram?
- Download the Instagram app on your device.
- Create an account. Click the “Sign up” button and enter your email, username, password, phone number (optional), and upload a photo (optional) to create your account. You can choose to add a bit of personal information in the “about” section.
- Follow friends. You can now optionally choose to import contacts and find friends from your contact list, Facebook account, Twitter account, or simply search for names and usernames.
From Wiki How
How to post a picture on Instagram?
- Tap the middle square button at the at the bottom of the app.
- Take a photo or choose one from your phone.
- Edit the picture by adding filters and effects. Find more information about editing options on Photo Tips and Tricks from Instagram.
- Add a caption (use hashtags to make your picture easier to find). You can also tag people, add location, and share the photo with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
Instagram Direct – share your images only with few friends
Instagram Lets You Send Private Messages Via Instagram Direct. In December 2013, Instagram announced a major new feature that enables users to send private messages to another user, or up to 15 other users.
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows users to post images or video that will disappear after 24 hours. Stories can be seen by your followers and if your account is public, anyone can watch your Stories. In January 2018, Instagram announced the ability to add GIFs to Stories. Users can search Gihpy (a GIF database) to add GIF stickers to their videos or images in Stories.
- Feed. It shows you the most recent pictures, which were posted by users you’re following.
- Explore. You can search for images using hashtags or you can find other users, by typing their usernames.
- News. You can see if someone liked your photo or requested/started following you, and if someone tag you on his/her photo.
- Profile. It shows your posts, the number of followers and people you follow, you can check pictures, you ware tagged on, and you also can see the map of your photos.
You can set your account to be public or private.
When your profile is public, then all users could see your posts. If you set it as private, then users will need to request your approval before following you and seeing your posts.
To change your privacy settings open your account, choose the profile tab, and tap on Edit Your Profile button. At the bottom of the page, you can choose if your posts are private or not.
What do kids think of Instagram?
- Instagram is like a game where they are trying to gain more likes and followers.
- It’s the third most popular app that teens are using (after Facebook & Youtube).
- Kids take pictures of everything and everywhere.
How are kids using Instagram?
- Kids work hard to get more followers and collect as many likes on their photos as possible.
- They post dozens of pictures every day.
- Most photos are selfies.
- Their self worth is based on how many likes and comments they get.
Why should parents care?
- Kids are addicted to the app.
- Kids work hard to get many likes, comments, and followers so they feel popular.
- Kids usually don’t think a lot before posting pictures.
- Their pictures are (usually) visible to all Instagram users.
- Their self esteem is tied to their latest Instagram post.
- Giphy is not moderated which means students will have more access to inappropriate content.
- Understanding the apps your students are using is the best way to ensure they stay safe on social media
What can parents do?
- Follow your kids on Instagram and see what are they posting.
- Don’t comment or like their posts.
- Use their posts to know what’s going on in their life (and talk to them about it in real life).
- Use a service like Ifttt.com to get an email every time your kid posts on Instagram.
- Always report inappropriate content or hacked and hate accounts. Instagram has a Report Something guide.
- Remind your kids to keep each post “Light, Bright and Polite.”
Do you have more questions about this app? Let us know in the comment section below.