Instagram is very, very simple. It is an App that can only be loaded on an iphone, ipad, or ipod – at least at the moment. It is free. You create a Profile, add your name, a blurb about you, your age, your mobile number; if you like. You snap a photo on your phone and immediately share it with friends or followers. It looks like this:
To pretty up the pic you can choose from more than a dozen filters to give the photos a unique look, perhaps a vintage Polaroid design, or a pink tone. You can include a caption and location, and share with friends on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Other Instagrammers can follow you. Your followers can ‘Like’ a photo, and comment on it.
Is it safe?
Like most social networks – if it is used properly.
Privacy Settings Unless you turn ON the ‘Photos are Private’ button your photos are open to the world to view and comment on. So best to turn it OFF however then only your chosen followers can see your pics and it seems that part of the fun is to be ‘liked’ by random instagrammers. There are obvious problems with this from a parent’s point of view.
Personal Information When you sign up you only need to supply a User Name and an Email but there is space for a ‘Bio”. I had a look at a few on the weekend. An example of one I saw complete with profile pic in school uniform:
hi im maddy, i love my friends, 13 years young, school is meh, follow me if ya wanna…..
Geotagging During the process of uploading a photo, the location data of the photo you’re uploading can easily be shared with your followers if you’re not careful. I posted an article on geortagging just recently. Worth having a look if you haven’t already.
Inappropriate content users will, and do upload naked and violent photos. You can block or report someone if you see inappropriate content but it is there.