What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Instagram is a popular platform for instantly enhancing photos and videos with cool effects and sharing them across a number of social media platforms. The terms specify that users should be at least 13 years old and should not post partially nude or sexually suggestive photos but do not prohibit the portrayal of violence, swear words, or drugs. Users can flag photos for review, but mature content still appears in some photos and in the comment sections. Photos shared in Instagram are public and may have location information unless privacy settings are adjusted. Instagram Direct allows users to send private photos directly to other users. Tinder users can access other Tinder users' Instagram feeds directly from within the Tinder app, even on private Instagram feeds if Tinder integration is enabled.
What kids can learn
- producing new content
- conveying messages effectively
- friendship building
- multiple forms of expression
- digital creation
- social media
Engagement, Approach, Support
Playing with the tool to enhance what would be ordinary photos can be very fun, and the social aspect is sure to engage. The app does a remarkable job implementing a neat idea with an easy and fast interface, all for free.
Teens learn mostly through hands-on exploration. Exploring specific hashtags can offer a range of information and perspectives. Instagram hosts @music to highlight artists and music trends with a few posts each week.
There's a pretty detailed help section, but it's kind of tucked away and not useful for on-the-go tips. There's no tutorial, but Instagram is very intuitive to use.
What's it about?
All users can view popular photos and videos shared by other users on Instagram. Users who create logins also can share their own photos and 15-second videos. After taking or choosing a photo, you can modify the lighting, contrast, and color with preset effects, which usually make the photo look high-quality and interesting. You also can add a border, blur effects, and brightness. Users then add a caption, share the photo on Instagram and, if desired, via email or other social networks. @music is a feature that allows musicians to share photos and videos specifically related to their bands or performances, which may give rise to more focused content. Photos and videos are public by default, but you can choose to make your posts private in settings, as well as choose to share photos and videos with 15 or fewer friends via Instagram Direct.
Is it any good?
Welcome to Instagram, where the cool photo effects of Hipstamatic powerfully combine with the social seduction of Facebook, the popularity filter of Reddit, the hashtag and follower sharing models of Twitter, and the curse and blessing of commentary on YouTube -- and that's just within the app. Instagram makes your photos and videos look cool and then makes it easy to share them instantly, across multiple platforms, allowing you to broadcast how #awesome your life is right now. The competition for cool can get a little tiresome (the comments are full of users seeking followers), and we'd love to see more moderation for photos and comments to be totally safe for kids. As with any social network, it's helpful to talk to kids about privacy settings and mindful sharing, since things shared on the Internet can follow you forever. Overall, Instagram does a remarkable job of implementing a neat idea with an easy and fast interface, all for free.
Families can talk about...
Encourage kids to be smart about what and how they share online. We have some great tips on safety and being a good digital citizen.
Check out photography books from the library for kids who want to learn more about lighting, mood, and so on.