What's Instagram?: Instagram is a free, photo sharing mobile application that's available on Apple iOS mobile devices (like the iPhone or iPad) and Andriod mobile devices. Instagram allows you to apply cool filters and effects to photos you've taken on your mobile device and then share them with others. Friends can then comment on and like shared photos.
Why is it so popular? Instagram makes it super-easy to apply cool effects to photos and then share them out with others.
Age Requirements: To have an account, users must be 13 years old or older by registering an email address and selecting a username. Children under 13 are not allowed to have Instagram accounts. Parents, there is nothing preventing children under 13 from opening accounts on their own.
Private Messaging?: No. Users cannot send private messages to each other through Instagram.
What Issues Parents to be Aware of:
Privacy: When an Instagram account is first created, everything is public. That means that anyone can view photos your child posts and "follow" your child's account and updates. To limit who can see your photos to just those who follow you, make your account private by turning the "Photos are private" switch ON. Once private, anyone who wants to see your photos on Instagram will need to send a "follow request", which you can then either approve or deny. Read more about the private setting and what happens when you share to other social networks here
Geotagging: Geotagging lets people know where and when you took a photo or video. In Instagram, hen you take a photo and add it to your Photo Map, anyone can see where the photo was taken. If you are a private user, only approved followers will be able to see where the photo was taken. For places that can compromise your privacy and safety, like your home or places you frequent, you might want to consider removing the location information from your photos. To do this, simply edit your Photo Map by following the instructions here.
Blocking Users: If you'd like to prevent someone from seeing your photos on Instagram, you can block them from viewing your photos or searching for your Instagram account. The blocked user is not notified when they are blocked. Read more here.
How to Report Abusive Behavior: Instagram relies on its users to report activity that violates thei Community Guidelines. Instagram provides ways for you to report users, photos, and comments, and encourages you to utilize these tools to help us make the community a safer place for everyone.
- Reporting Users: To report a user for spam, tap the button at the top right corner of their profile page, then "Report for Spam." If you'd like to report a user for other reasons, please report the abusive or spammy comments or images.
- Reporting Photos: To report a photo, just tap the "…" button below the photo and then "Report Inappropriate."
- Reporting Comments: Just swipe right or tap on a comment and tap the trashcan icon. You can then select "Delete & Report Abuse" to remove the comment and report it in a single action. If you see an abusive or spammy comment on someone else's photo, you can easily report it as spam by following the steps above, though you will see a different icon instead of the trash icon. Note: Reporting comments that are not on your own photos is not included in the current Android version, but we do plan to add it in a future release.