Instagram… What you should know
  • Second most-popular social media app in the United Kingdom
  • Instagram has 26.54 million users in the UK as of June 2020
  • Instagram has a minimum sign-up age of 13
  • 61% of male users are aged between 15 and 24
  • 71% of female users are aged between 15 and 24

So… What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media platform where users can share and interact with photos, videos and stories to their followers, and these posts can be anything they feel like sharing, provided they do not go against the strict community guidelines, which are, in short:

    1. Post your own photos and videos
    2. Keep your clothes on
    3. Be respectful
    4. Don’t spam
    5. HAVE FUN!

If a post is considered harmful or inappropriate, Instagram has a handy ‘Report’ feature, and after filling in a short questionnaire about the post, Instagram will review the photo/video and remove it accordingly.

So… We know what Instagram is… What do we need to be aware of?

Instagram is made up of 3 main pages:

The HomePage – This is where posts from people you follow will appear, and you can interact with them.

The Explore Page – This is where posts from people you do not follow will appear. The posts that show are based on your activity, your followers on Instagram, and what Instagram thinks you might want to see.

Your Profile – This is where you can see what you have posted to Instagram.

Let’s start with the Homepage…

The main thing to be aware of with the homepage is that you are only following people you know, this will keep the chances of seeing something inappropriate to an absolute minimum.

There is a feature called ‘stories’ on the homepage, where users can post a photo that will stay up for 24 hours for all their followers to see.

The Explore Page…

As mentioned, posts from people you do not follow pop up here. Making sure your children aren’t following users aimed at adults on instagram will keep the chances of seeing something inappropriate to a minimum. We do need to stay aware that Instagram may suggest a post that we find inappropriate even if nothing inappropriate has been accessed, as your followers may have accessed these pages.

Your Profile…

Your profile is exactly that – yours. You control what is posted, what your username is, and what information you have in your ‘about me’ bio.

From your profile, you can choose whether to have a private page or a public page. We recommend having a private page, so that you can control who views your posts.

The Private / Public Debate…

When you ask kids now-a-days, lots of them say they want to be an Instagram Influencer.
What this means, is they want to get paid to post photos on Instagram, and have a huge following, like a celebrity.

Where this does work out for some people, it’s a very unlikely thing to happen, but this doesn’t stop kids from trying!

To gain a huge following, many kids have their profile set to public, meaning everyone and anyone can access and view their posts whenever and wherever they like, and although Instagram does its best to keep their users safe, there is no guarantee that the people viewing your posts have all good intentions.

Our advice for this, is to make a deal with your kids, that if they keep their profile set to private until they’re 18 and up, they can then make the decision to have a public profile.

Safety Features

To report inappropriate images/videos, you can click here

To block an account from showing up on your feed and seeing your posts, you can click here

To flag or delete a comment as abuse or spam, you can swipe left on the comment, more information can be found by clicking here

For information on changing an account to private, you can click here

Instagram has created a ‘Tips for Parents’ page, which you can find here