Why it’s popular: Instagram unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. Instagram also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.
What parents need to know:
- Teens are on the lookout for “Likes.” Similar to Facebook, teens may measure the “success” of their photos — or even their self-worth — by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens post it to validate their popularity.
- Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public and may have location information unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen’s followers.
- Mature content can slip in. The terms of service specify that users should be at least 13 years old and shouldn’t post partially nude or sexually suggestive photos — but they don’t address violence, profanity, or drugs.