INSTAGRAM – A social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Similar to Facebook or Twitter, everyone who creates an Instagram account has a profile and a news feed. When you post a photo or video on Instagram, it will be displayed on your profile.
What you can do on Instagram:
1. Chat Feature: There is a chat feature for direct messaging people who “follow”and don’t follow you.
2. Public Search: There is a public search feature to search any photo, videos, hashtags, or people.
3. Bio: Users can write anything about themselves and link to a website via the bio.
4. Story Feature: You can record video or collection of pictures to share. These are displayed first when people that follow you log in.
5. Privacy: An account can be public or private. In private mode only people who follow you can see your uploads and requests to follow have to be verified first by you. In public mode, anyone can see anything including all your posts and the posts you like.
Below the surface….What we found out
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The heart button on the bottom allows you to see all your own activity and all the activity of those you follow. Instagram also puts notifications here of who is liking your posts, when friends from other social media accounts join Instagram. Behind the scenes they know a lot more than you think. As you can see in the image of my own activity, it says that my facebook friend has joined Instagram. Any social media linked to Instagram will automatically connect with each other.
What I like about Instagram is that they have a setting for everything. After you tap on the profile icon on the bottom right, then at the top right hand corner are 3 dots. tap on that and there will be your setting. Go through the settings checking each one to ensure the most privacy and best settings based on your child’s age. In the photo on the left, the account is not set to private. When spot checking your child’s phone, also check this screen. Not saving history or photos or wiping out the history regularly may cause you to question what he/she is doing on line.
Bottom Line- Instagram is a pretty mild app. Of course anything with a chat has potential of abuse or photos can be a little racy but the bottom line is to teach your kids when they first start using how to be responsible with each application. Respectful behavior, appropriate photos. Spot checking phones, making sure the account they created is private and always knowing your child’s password. Go to www.netsmatz.org for more information on the best way to teach kids about social media.