Social Media and Instagram

Understanding Social Media and Instagram

The parent’s guide to Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites, particularly with young people who use Instagram to share snippets of their lives in pictures online. It’s highly likely that your tween or teen is keen to use Instagram – if they’re not already. This guide will help you learn more about the social media platform to help you take to your children about responsible Instagram usage.

Why use Instagram?

Instagram is a photo-sharing app that allows users to share snaps with their Instagram followers, and to follow others to see their pictures. Photos can be taken within the app or uploaded from the phone’s camera. The app also allows for the uploading of short video clips.

Signing up

Like Facebook, Instagram users must be 13 years or older to sign up. To create an Instagram account, you first need to download the app and enter an email address to sign up before giving a name or username as well as a password.

The first step after signing up is setting a profile picture. You can also choose to import contacts from your phone or from Facebook to find friends to follow.

What is a filter?

Instagram is all about the filters – which can be applied to photographs to alter them as the user wishes. These filters are used to improve photo quality and appeal and can be used in a number of creative ways.


‘Hashtagging’ is another Instagram phenomenon, and is essentially an indexing and sorting system that allows people to search for photos with a particular theme or content. For example, entering #beach will bring up photos that have been categorised with the word beach using a hashtag.

The basic features of Instagram

  • The ability to ‘like’, share or comment on photos or videos
  • Instagram Direct – this allows users to engage in private conversations
  • Hashtags – as mentioned above, hashtags make content searchable
  • Followers – the people who ‘follow’ an Instagram account and can see the various posts. One of the aspects teens enjoy about Integra is being able to follow their favourite celebrities and to see snapshots of their lives online