Instagram

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Threat Level – Moderate

***updated review on 12-14-2013**

Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as media sites including Facebook or Twitter. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million registered users (and around 90 million monthly active users) as of January 2013. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Support was originally available for only the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, support was added for Android camera phones running 2.2 Froyo. Instagram became so popular, Facebook knew the app had strong potential and bought the app company.

This app is most popular in the young teen to teen age. This was the first social media that I introduced my children to. It is easy to manage and is only a picture sharing app with messages on the pictures. The basic idea behind Instagram is to make an account (free) then select a picture to upload. After you do this, it is time to send invites to friends to see the pictures you upload, and also when they approve, you will see their pictures as well. They can attach messages to the pictures, or comment below the pictures back and forth. As of right now settings allows you to place restrictions on your account to view only friends and friends only view your pics. As long as you monitor your friends list, you will be able to monitor who gets to view the pics, and the pics you post is viewed by. Some popular hashtags that you will see your child type in comments are abbreviations. Below is list of popular abbreviations.

#tbt – throw back Thursday (they will post old pictures of themselves)
#wcw – woman crush Wednesday (they will post a picture of their female friend for a “crush” of the day)
#mcm – man crush Monday (they will post a picture of their male friend for a “crush of the day)
#randomwords sometimes kids will just make comments in a way to look like a hastag for example #soboredtoday if they are feeling bored

Other popular things you will see in Instagram comments or posts

@insertnamehere you will see this when your child is tagging someone in the picture, this sends an alert to the person tagged that the poster wants them to see
Tbh – to be honest
Ots – off the scale ( as in ranking a 1-10 and they ranked higher than a 10)
Like for a rate – means that whomever likes the commented picture, the poster will rate that person on a scale 1-10 in the comments

Another popular post is for your child at the first of the month to post a picture with 1-30 (for the days of the month. After each day will be a task that they will post to Instagram on that day. For example 1. Selfie 2. Favorite movie…etc. thus means on the. First they will post a picture of themselves, the second they will take a pic of their favorite movie cover…etc

As of DECEMBER 2013, Instagram has added a box in the upper right corner of their app. This is a direct mail box. This is where now the user can send a direct message and picture to someone on their friends list. This is a direct private message which they can select one person or multiple people to send pictures to. Remember to monitor this part closely.

Instagram also allows access on their website at Instagram.com. Remember this because your child can now access their account from any internet connected computer as well as on an app on mobile devices.

In summary the most important thing to remember is to Make sure you monitor their friends close. Some parents do not watch what there children are posting. Always friend your children at first, so you can monitor what they are doing, and who is viewing their pictures. Be smart! Make sure they are not posting inappropriate pictures (no bathing suit selfies either) and make sure they are locked down tight in security settings where only friends can see their pictures.

Brown app with camera, Polaroid camera app, photo,

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