Instagram, one of today’s popular social media apps, is a service that allows users to share photos and short videos (up to 1:00 long) with their friends and followers. Owned by Facebook, Instagram has dominated the photo-sharing market for the past several years with no apps even coming close to the same level of popularity. With over 500 million active users, and roughly 40 million photos shared every day, Instagram’s user base is no joke. If you do the math you’ll find that nearly 28,000 photos are shared on the site every minute. This is a massive number, and anyone with an Instagram account can theoretically see any one of those pictures.
Instagram might seem overwhelming at first. There is, after all, a lot to figure out. One of the nice things about Facebook’s ownership of Instagram is that it makes it much easier to find followers or people to follow. If you already have a Facebook account, all you have to do is link your Facebook account to the one you create in Instagram. If you don’t have a Facebook account and you are still struggling to find your friends or interesting accounts to follow, there is no reason to panic. Instagram has a built-in search function that allows you to search for things by name or username. Another thing that Instagram does is intelligent recommendations. This means that Instagram will show you content that it specifically chose for you based on other content that you liked or followed. These recommendations can be seen if you click on the button with the magnifying glass on it, this is also where you will go to search for other accounts to follow.
Eventually, after you follow some of your friends, favorite companies, favorite celebrities, etc, you will start to see content appear on Instagram’s homepage. This content can be interacted with in a multitude of ways. Videos and pictures that are posted on Instagram can be ‘liked’ or commented on. Anyone that follows the same accounts as you can see if you either liked a photo or commented on it, but if they want to see the pictures you post they actually have to follow you. When you set up your Instagram account you can set it up so that you actually have to give permission to people if they want to follow you, otherwise anyone will be able to follow you and see your pictures. If you do decide to lock your account so that you have to approve your followers, Instagram will send you a notification every time someone requests to follow you.
Once you have your account set up and you are following other accounts, it is time to post your first picture. Posting pictures on Instagram is incredibly easy and can be done in just a few seconds. To post a picture or video, the first thing you have to do is click on the little camera icon on the bottom of the app at which point you will be taken to another screen where you can either take a new picture or post one from the library on your phone. After you select a picture to use, Instagram gives you the option of adding a filter to your photo, which allows you to change the lighting and general appearance of a photo. Following this Instagram takes you to the final screen where you can write captions for your photos, tag people, and set it to post to your other social media accounts. That’s pretty much everything to know about getting started with Instagram, which means that you are now a certified expert on using Instagram.
- Instagram is a great way to keep up with everything your friends and family are doing.
- You can share pictures from your life with all of your followers.
- It can help you keep up with your favorite companies and celebrities.
- Good way to find communities with similar interests to your own.
- Due to the open nature of Instagram and its’ online community, kids can interact with almost anyone they want to.
Here at HTP we really like Instagram and we feel like it is a great way to connect with family and friends and share pictures from your daily life. We also believe, however, that if you let your kids use Instagram you should monitor what they are looking at, how much they use the app, and who they are talking to. For safety and privacy, you might want to turn off geotagging/location services, so that photos shared by your child won’t reveal the location the photos were taken. Here are instructions for turning off location in Instagram. Before entering into any kind of social media service for your kids, we strongly recommend having a talk with them, where you establish some ground rules. In our house, these include:
- Parents have all passwords for all accounts.
- Parents have free access to phones and computers at any time.
- Texting, computing, and social media-ing happen in public space, not behind closed doors.
- Parents will have right to veto any friend requests, for any reason, at any time (we generally relax this one over time).
- Until we are comfortable, we will preview any social media posts before they are posted.
Generally, we try to establish healthy patterns of use with social media and devices, and make sure that our children know how to behave responsibly online before we give them freedom on any given platform. This happens through lots of conversation and discussion of good and bad examples, as well as reviewing our values and making sure that our own use is exemplary in this area.