Instagram Video: What parents need to know + illustrated guide

Facebook’s Instagram adds video

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app used by more than 130 million people now lets you shoot and share video.

On June 20th, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, demonstrated the new features at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, saying that the Instagram video offers “everything we know and love about Instagram, but it moves.”

That pretty much sums in up as far as parents are concerned. If your kids used Instagram to take still pictures, they can now use it for short (up to 15 second) videos and — like still images — apply filters to enhance their videos.

Just as with still images, it’s important for kids to:

  • Be aware of how they and others in the video are presenting themselves. It’s Ok to be wacky but not OK to be disrespectful or inappropriately dressed
  • Respect other people’s privacy. Ask before including others in a video
  • Be aware of what’s in the background of a video
  • Know how to make Instagram pictures private
  • Be kind in comments
  • Kids are supposed to be 13 or older to use Instagram (thought they don’t ask for age)

For more on kids and Instagram, see A Parents Guide to Instagram from

The new service runs on both iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) and Android phones and tablets. The iOS version also has image stabilization (they called it “Cinema”)  to help cut down on shaky movies.

Key features

The key features are the ability to capture up to 15 seconds of video, apply filters (enhancements) and/or stabilization and share the video on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or via the web or email.

It’s easy to use

When you’re ready to capture an image, you’ll now find a movie camera along with the familiar still camera image.  Click on that movie camera (right most icon) to get into video mode.


That brings up a screen with  a big red video start button at the bottom.  Hold that red button down to take video and release when you’re done.  You’re only recording while the button is being held down.


Stop and start video

If you let go of the button before 15 seconds are up, it will stop recording.  And, if you want, you have the option of pushing it again to record subsequent clips until you’ve reached that 15-second limit.

If you let go of the button before the 15 seconds are up, you have the option to delete the clip you just took by clicking the X next to the big red button followed by the trash can icon.


After you’re done recording, press the green button in the upper right and you’re ready to apply a filter and/or image stabilization.

At the bottom of the screen is a stabilization icon and icons for the various filters. You can  toggle stabilization on or off (there’s a line through it when it’s off) and apply a filter (or not).


The next step to is chose a cover frame, which is what people will see when they look at a thumbnail of your video.  Instagram will show you several frames at the bottom of the screen. Click on the one you want (you can click around till you find one) and then select next.

Getting ready to share

The final step begins with adding a caption, which is any text or comment you want associated with your video.

Next you decide whether to add the the video to a “photo map.” This discloses the location of where you took the video, so think carefully about whether it should be on or off.  Parents ought to strongly consider asking their kids to always leave it off so as not to disclose where the picture or video was taken.


Finally, you have the option to share the video. When you press the screen Share button in the upper left corner, it’s automatically shared on Instagram but you can also share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or via email.  Be aware that the privacy options on those other services might not be the same your Instagram sharing (Twitter, for example, is public by default so even if you’re sharing privately on Instagram you may be sharing publicly on Twitter).

Deleting or sharing later

After you’re done — even after you’ve shared the video — you have the option to delete it, share it (in case you didn’t at first or want to add places to share it), copy the where it’s shared or or email the video.  You start the process by locating the video and clicking the little menu button (3 dots) which brings up your options.



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Disclosure: ConnectSafely receives financial support from Facebook, which owns Instagram

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