How Does Instagram’s Video Release Impact Preteens?

Last week Intagram released video capability on their platform. Users can now post and watch videos, which can be up to 15 seconds in length. As parents & ministry leaders, we need to be aware of this.

Instagram is hugely popular with preteens. Up until today, I didn’t even realize that users were supposed to be 13 years old. They definitely don’t do much to enforce this, evident by the HUGE amount of preteens using Instagram. In fact, my 9 and 11 year old are frequently on Instagram.

Why does the new video release concern me? It is difficult for Instagram & parents to filter video content. I’m concerned that Instagram will not place a high priority on regulating inappropriate videos, which could expose preteens to harmful content. Furthermore, parents who monitor their preteens’ Instagram feeds will find it challenging to monitor video content.

I’m not going to make an argument for or against preteens using Instagram. That’s a personal decision for parents. The purpose of this blog post is to bring to your attention that Instagram now has video capability. Do the parents of your students know this? How informed are they about Instagram?

It is our job as ministry leaders to walk alongside of parents when it comes to social media.

Here are a few ways you can do this right now:

  • Let parents know about Instagram’s video release in an email or upcoming newsletter.
  • Use news of the video release as an opportunity to initiate conversations with parents about preteens using social media.
  • Do your research and provide parents with helpful blog posts and articles related to Instagram and other social media.

On a final note, if you are looking for a tool to help preteens navigate social media, check out Under the Radar. The 6 week series is about how sin & temptation sneak up on us and equips preteens to filter the media they take in (online, TV, video games, etc.) with the radar of God’s Word. Under the Radar helps students make better choices in what they see, hear and do.

How do you think Instagram’s video release affects preteens? Leave a comment sharing your thoughts. Or if you want to leave a general comment about social media & preteens, we would love to hear from you.

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