Instagram is a photo-sharing service, where users upload pictures and have options to manipulate them, for example using filters, blurring effects and frames. Users can follow others’ accounts and view the pictures they upload on a central feed. Accounts are public by default, which means anyone can view your pictures, but can be made private so that only approved users may view the content. The ‘Explore’ function can be used to search for other Instagram users to follow, or view popular or interesting pictures.
As well as photos, users can upload videos, up to 15 seconds in length. When a photo or video is uploaded, users can write a caption, which may include ‘hashtags’, or tag other Instagram users in the picture. People viewing a photo can ‘like’ it, or comment on it. Hashtags (e.g. #scenery) may be used in captions or comments to allow Instagram users to search for content on a particular theme.
Instagram have recently added the ‘Direct’ function. This allows users to send photos or videos to specific users without displaying them on their main profile. Direct images from people you follow are delivered immediately to an inbox, while messages sent by people you don’t follow are put into a ‘requests’ section so you users may decide whether they will allow that person to send them direct images.
According to Instagram’s terms, the service is open to those aged 13 or older. It is most commonly used via smartphone apps, so users can instantly upload pictures taken on their mobile phones, but is also accessible online.
Blocking someone will not remove their existing likes and comments from your photos.
Note: If you want to report a comment on one of your photos, swipe the comment to the left and you will instead see a trash can icon. Click this and you will be given the option to delete and report.
When you report an inappropriate comment, your report is anonymous and your information isn’t shared with the person whose posted the comment.
To report an account that is being used to harass or bully you or somebody else, use this online form.