Instagram Publishes ‘Parent’s Guide’ to Promote Responsible Use

Instagram has published a new guide specifically focused on helping parents help their kids use the service responsibly.

According to a new press release from the company, the guide is written primarily for parents who might not already be familiar with Instagram — but given how complicated managing social media accounts has become, almost anyone would benefit from a little refresher.

The guide mainly focuses on three things: how to manage privacy, interactions, and time on Instagram:

In A Parent’s Guide, we focus on three things: how to manage privacy, interactions and time on Instagram. We’ve included the basics of our app, and a description of our tools, plus a discussion guide for how parents and guardians can have an open conversation with their teens about Instagram. The discussion questions were developed in collaboration with education and social media expert, Ana Homayoun, M.A., P.P.S., and are designed to help parents and guardians learn more about how teens are using Instagram and to ensure they’re using the app in a positive way.

The first part of the guide focuses on managing privacy and who can see an account in public and private settings, respectively, as well as how these can be controlled by the user:

The first choice you can make with your teen is whether their account is public or private. If your teen’s account is private, they approve the people who follow them, and can remove followers at any time. Private accounts mean your teen’s content can’t be seen by anyone they haven’t approved. If your teen is public, anyone can see the content they post on Stories, Feed, or Live, and can follow them without needing approval.

Part two focuses on Instagram comments and interaction. Currently, users can choose specific groups that can comment on posts, remove comments entirely, block specific people from viewing or leaving comments, report abusive comments, and automatically filter comments that Instagram deems potentially offensive:

Your teen is in control of who can comment on their photos and videos. In the “Comment Controls” section of the app settings, they can choose to: allow comments from everyone, people they follow and those people’s followers, just the people they follow, or their followers. Teens can also remove comments entirely from their posts.

The guide finishes with an explanation of time management, as Instagram’s latest development focuses on making their users conscious about the amount of time they are spending on the app:

When it comes to spending time on Instagram, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to how much is too much or just right… There are a number of tools to help you and your family understand and take control of the time your teen is spending on the app. You can work together to decide what the right balance is for your family.

“I work at Instagram, and I’m also a parent,” says Marne Levine, Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer. “That’s the lens I bring into the office each day, just like many other parents who work here. We know the social media landscape will continue to change, and we’re committed to being here every step of the way to make sure parents and their teens have the tools they need to make the choices that are right for them.”

You can find the Parent’s Guide for Instagram here.

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