What is Instagram? Your tweens and teens are on it!

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.

Age-Appropriateness  Instagram is not for under the age of 13. If you’re 12 years old, there isn’t even a 1999 year to choose when signing up. Instagram has strict Terms of Use and Community Guidelines that make their age requirement clear however you only have to lie and there are many who have!

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.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Cyber Safety, cybersafety, cybersmart, Dangers, Internet safety, Social Media, Social Networking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What is Instagram? Your tweens and teens are on it!

  1. Pingback: Teens post ‘Here I am Pics’ and ‘Kik me @’ | iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World

  2. Reginald says:

    Thanks for your time for composing “What is Instagram?
    Your tweens and teens are on it! | iCyberSafe.com
    – Living in a Connected World” blurredbrain.com . I personallymight certainly be returning for even more reading and commenting in the near future.
    Many thanks, Karri

    • Renata Rowe says:

      My pleasure. You might also like a more recent one, ‘Why Instagram is the new black for Tweens’

  3. “What is Instagram? Your tweens and teens are on it!
    | iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World” was
    indeed a relatively excellent blog, . I hope you keep posting and I’ll keep on following! Thank you ,Mario

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