What Parents Need to Know About Instagram Direct

By on 12-16-2013

If you have your finger on the pulse of which apps teens are using (for better or for worse), then you’ve already heard of the uber-popular and potentially dangerous messaging app, Snapchat.

What you may not know is that Instagram recently unveiled a new feature that could be just as menacing to teens.

The Scoop on Instagram Direct

Before the update, Instagram users were able to share photo and video creations with their followers as well as with their connections on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Now, with Instagram Direct, they can choose to share some photos and videos “privately” with select recipients.

The Privacy Dilemma

In a blog post, the company claimed that there are “moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people.” This insinuates that the photos that are sent via the direct messaging feature are actually private. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Pictures and videos sent to a single recipient via Instagram Direct can easily be reposted and revealed to others.

Worst Case Scenario

Teens can be taught to use virtually any app responsibly, but with the rise of sexting, cyberbullying, and revenge porn amongst young people, parents can’t be too careful. Knowledge is power. Tell your kids to never post or send an image that they wouldn’t want their whole school to see. A pic sent “privately” can easily go viral, and the effects on your child’s self-esteem and reputation can be devastating.It’s always a good idea to stay abreast of the latest features and developments to apps that your kids are using, but the overall message to kids remains the same: Nothing on the Internet is private. Period.


Introducing Instagram Direct http://blog.instagram.com/post/69789416311/instagram-direct

Sans Snapchat, Facebook Updates Instagram http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/12/12/sans-snapchat-facebook-updates-instagram/3997853/

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