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What is Instagram?

Instagram allows you to create a profile and share pictures with friends (known as Followers). Your followers can then ‘like’ or comment on your photos. Your profile can include a Bio section which you can use to describe yourself and include links to other sites or apps. All the pictures you share are accessible to other users who visit your profile.
There are a number of other features including the ability to direct message your Followers (called Instagram Direct), share short videos and send pictures which will only be available to view for a short amount of time - similar to Snapchat. Other users who don’t follow you can still send you direct messages.
When pictures are shared you can include a caption and hashtags to make it easier for other users to find when searching or to get involved in online campaigns such as #nomakeupselfie for charities.

Do age restrictions apply?

Yes, they do! Instagram, due to personal information laws in the US, requires user to be over the age of 13 to create an account. As Instagram does not ask users their date of birth when they sign up, many assume that there is no age limit.
It’s also worth noting that Instagram isn’t always rated correctly in App Stores which can cause confusion. Always refer to the terms and conditions of any app for the correct age limit.

Are there any privacy settings/controls?

Yes. Instagram gives you control over who can see the photos you post - they can be public so everyone can see or you can set your account to ‘private’ so only your Followers can see. Not everything is hidden by a private account though as your profile picture and bio (the little bit about yourself) cannot be hidden. They will always be public. Setting your account to ‘Private’ is really easy to do. Just pop to your profile, click on the gear symbol at the top and scroll down to the Private Account option. When you switch to a Private Account it won’t change anything for your existing Followers but anyone who wants to see your pictures will need to send a Follow request.
As there is the potential for users to write offensive comments, Instagram give you the ability to hide inappropriate comments. Go to the Comment section of your account options and turn on the keyword filter — it will block phrases and words commonly reported as offensive, and gives you the option to add your own.

To learn more about Instagram and to see some tips to use it safely, visit the LSCB campaign page by clicking here

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Last updated: 30 June 2017

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