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Posted November 18, 2014

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All About Instagram

Learn about one of the fastest-growing social networking sites, especially among tweens and teenagers.

Instagram is a mobile application that enables users to upload pictures and videos, add filters, and share them on a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Instagram functions as a social networking site because you are able to find people to follow feeds, and allow others to follow your photo feed.

Users can apply digital filters to their images, which many say is one of the appeals of Instagram: professional-looking photographs. Users can also upload videos (up to 15 seconds) to Instagram, and apply filters to those as well.

Instagram is one of the fastest growing mobile applications in the world right now, with active user growth up 47% since the beginning of 2014.

Instagram has one of the youngest audiences of all social networking sites, with more than 70% of their users being 16-34.

Instagram is popular among kids, tweens and teenagers because it is easy-to-use, and kids love sharing pictures and videos with each other. Another reason Instagram is so popular is because many kids can download the Instagram app on their iPod or tablets using only wifi access, and do not actually need a mobile phone to use the app.

Tips if you’ll allow your child to have Instagram
If your child is on Instagram, here are a few best-practice tips to use the app wisely:

  1. Establish clear rules about using Instagram before they create an account.
  2. Open your child's Instagram account with them and make the account private.
  3. Allow your child to accept only follow notifications from people he or she knows in person.
  4. Monitor their account, either by following them on Instagram or checking their mobile phone, tablet or iPod. Tell them that you will be reviewing what they post and whom they follow, so they cannot accuse you of spying later on. (For more tips on this, consider creating a family media agreement.)
  5. Explain that anything that is posted online must be assumed to be public even if their account is private. People can easily take screenshots of what is on your child's account and repost.
  6. If your child has a smartphone, limit access to Instagram only when he or she has WiFi, unless you have an unlimited data plan. Pictures and videos can use lots of data.
  7. Remind your child constantly to not share too much personal information on Instagram, and discuss the idea of the digital footprint they are creating while using Instagram.
  8. Discuss with your child what to do if they see an inappropriate picture on Instagram, or if something they see makes them uncomfortable.
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