What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo and video sharing social network. It is owned by Facebook and has been operating since 2010. It is available on both Android and iPhone Smartphones, and can be accessed on a desktop.

How Might It Be Used?

It is intended for uploading, commenting and sharing photos and videos. However, celebrities have been know to use it for product and service endorsements. This has led to a “surge” in the term “influencer” which has traditionally meant that users can be “influenced” by the persuasive endorsements of these products and services.

In terms of normal user activity, this app can lead to trolling and body shaming behaviours by those who seek to use the App in an anti-social way. It is strongly advised to consult with your child or teenager about how best to act using this app for their wellbeing and safety.

Is It Free or Do You Have to Pay for It?

Instagram is free to download and use.

How Can You Tell If Your Child Has Downloaded It?

When Instagram has been downloaded on a Smartphone, it will have the following App logo design. This will be displayed on the app homepage. If this is not visible, you can check whether Instagram has been downloaded onto the phone through the App Store. Also you may be able locate your child’s Instagram activity by searching for it.

How Can We Stay Safe on It?

Our advice is to discuss your privacy and safety concerns with the child before permitting use of the App. Throughout your child’s use of Instagram, you may wish to check and amend their Privacy and Security settings to those that suit you. TackleBullying has an information sheet on some of the safety procedures for Instagram. Instagram also have a “Community” section on their website for more information on being safe and how they aim to tackle bullying using their platform. We also advise parents to consult with the Cyberbullying Research Centre guidelines for tackling bullying and staying safe on Instagram.

How Do I Talk to My Child about It?

Have the conversation,

‘I heard about this app which may pose some risks, I think we should talk about the apps that you are using to ensure they are safe…I don’t think it’s safe to use because having images like that on your phone leaves you exposed and open to someone potentially taking advantage of that. I want you to know that if you ever feel concerned about any apps or websites you use you can come and talk to me about them.’