I believe parents will want to make that decision based on some facts. So, before we share our opinion with you, here are 5 facts for you to consider:
You can find an overview of Instagram together with instructions on how to enable privacy settings in a short video at the end of this post.
5 quick facts to help you decide:
1 - Will my child come across adult content on Instagram (Drug abuse, violence, profanity, porn, etc.)?
Yes - that type of content is easily accessible and searchable so you will have to assume they will.
2 - What is the official minimum age?
13 (as per Instagram's terms on their website)
3 - Can strangers contact my child via the Instagram messaging service?
If the account is not set to private, then certainly yes. And even if it is set to private, if your child accepts followers they don't know in real life, then yes, potentially. We certainly are aware that adults pose as kids/teens to make contact with them.
4 - Who can see my child's photo's, videos and personal information?
If the account is not set to private, then anybody can see photos and videos posted. If it is set to private, then only approved followers will see their posts. It's important though, in that case, that your child only approves followers they know and trust in real life and are sure that they are not imposters.
5 - Can I filter the content they may get exposed to?
No. If you decide to let your child use Instagram they will have access to all of the content. Any other filters you may have in place on your child's device such as Apple's restrictions or web browser content filters will not apply to Instagram as it is a stand-alone app. Basically, in terms of what they can find and see - it's all or nothing.
You can find an overview of Instagram in this short demo video:
so, What is our opinion?
A great app for adults with some incredible photography. However, for children - No! There are too many adults posing as kids & lots of adult content (hard core porn, drug and alcohol abuse, violence etc.).
For older teenagers that behave responsibly, keep their profile private, won't accept followers they don't know in real life then 'Yes' - with some parental guidance. But beware: They will inevitably come across some very adult content! Curiosity always wins out!
In particular, this would be a good platform for an older teenager to showcase their artistic talents so long as they respect the above mentioned good digital practices.
How can I filter or restrict apps?
You can find step-by-step tutorials by selecting the below link: