Once upon a time, teens all congregated on Facebook. Parents began joining to keep track of their teens and understand the social network their teens were using. That was the beginning of the end for teens on Facebook. Little by little they found new social networks that had been created, but the winner seems to be Instagram. Instagram was launched in 2010 and has been one of the fastest growing social networks since then, especially with teens.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a free app, for Apple and Android devices, where users share photos and videos. They will often add a short caption with #hashtags to each image. Others can comment or like their entries. When you share your photo on Instagram, at the same time you can choose to have it shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Flickr or Email.
Who Can See My Teen’s Photos and Videos on Instagram?
Anyone 13 and older can sign up for an account. With a regular profile, your teen will mostly see what her friends post and vice versa, but everything she posts can be seen by the public. There is an option to set your photos and videos to private and then only approved followers will see them, but many teens, especially older ones, are not going to want to do this. There is also an option to block specific people, which you should definitely let your teens know about now. They might not tell you if someone creepy is sending them pictures, so just make sure they have this information at their disposal.
Can I Have Access to My Teen’s Instagram Account?
No. As long as they are 13 or over, they are treated as adults on Instagram.
Are there any Guidelines as to What you Can and Can Not Post on Instagram?
Yes. Only post your own photos or videos. No nudity of any kind. Don’t share illegal content. Be respectful to each other. No spam. Enjoy yourself.
What can be done if there is a Violation of the Guidelines?
You can report the violation. If a user does something that bothers you but isn’t really a violation, then just block the offender.
Instagram can be a wonderful social network if used the way it is intended to be used. It is like Twitter with pictures for your phone. It is all visual and a pretty way to share what you are up to with your friends.