Instagram recently introduced its new “Photos of You” feature that allows users to tag people in photos. The mobile photo app company, which was acquired by Facebook last year, said in a blog post that it’s letting users add the “who” to their photos along with the “what” and “where” that were already available. Instead of using the word “tag,” which is used on Facebook, Instagram is calling it “Add” as in adding names of people to a picture.
To access this feature you need to update the app in the Apple app store or Google play.
How it works
After you take a picture, you have the option to “Add People” from the Share screen. You then tap on a person in the picture and answer the on-screen question. “Who’s this?” You select their name from the drop down menu or you can search for the person. You can also share a picture you’ve already taken by going to the photo and selecting “Add People.”
- Answer the question “who’s this” and you’ve “added” (tagged) the person
When you share the photo, the person’s name appears on it. You can also use the service to tag brands such as the name of a restaurant you’re visiting.
You can only tag your own photos
Unlike Facebook, you can only tag photos that you’ve taken. You can’t tag another person’s photo even if you’re in it.
Privacy and notification
- You can hide a photo from your profile but that doesn’t delete it or untag it
If your photos are public (that’s the default but you can post privately if you wish) than anyone can see the photo and the tag. If you post privately, then the photo and the tag will only be seen by people you have approved as followers.
- A notification shows up on your main screen and in notification area (iOS screenshot)
You need access to a picture to be notified if you’re tagged
If you are posting publicly or if the person you’ve tagged is following you, than that person will be notified. But it’s important to note that if you are tagged by a private poster that you’re not following, you will not be notified, you won’t be able to see picture or the tag even though all of that person’s followers will see both the photo and the tag. This policy is the same as the way Instagram handles @Mentions, which shows up in status or comments. If you are tagged and have access to the picture, you can untag yourself.
Photos you are tagged in will also appear on your profile by default. You have the option of changing your settings so that you have to manually approve a photo before it’s posted on your profile but just because a photo isn’t on your profile doesn’t mean it’s invisible. It is still accessible to people who follow the person who posted it. You can change the settig as follows:
- Source: Instragram help menu
You can also manually hide any photo from your profile by clicking on it, tapping your name and clicking “Hide from My Profile.”
If you have access to the picture, you can untag (Remove) yourself form a photo as follows:
- Tap … below the photo
- Tap Photo Options
- Tap More Options
- Tap “Remove Me From Photo”
Blocking and reporting
- Instagram allows you to report inappropriate photos
You can keep anyone from tagging (the correct term is “adding”) to you a picture by blocking them. Once a person is blocked they can’t tag you or @mention you but of course they can still put up pictures of you and there are other ways of entering your name so this is not a full-proof way of preventing people from putting up pictures of you that you might not like.
If you feel that a photo is bullying or harrassing or otherwise violates Instagram’s terms of service, you can report it to their support department by taping the … below the phot0 and tapping “Report Inappropriate.”
Facebook and Instagram are different
Although Instagram is owned by Facebook, the services have different policies and different terms of service. For example, while both Facebook and Instagram require uers to be 13 or older, Instagram does not ask for a user’s date of birth on signup, though anyone reported and found to be under 13 will have their account deleted.
- Instagram gives you the option of posting privately so that only people who you approve can follow you. If you post that way, your content is invisible to everyone else (but if someone tags or “Adds” to you a photo it’s still visible even if they don’t follow you and you don’t follow them).
- You also have the option of turning off location so that people don’t know where you were when the picture was taken.
- You can block people who you feel might harass or bully you or who you simply don’t want to hear from or to see your content. People who are blocked can’t add you
- You can turn off “Auto Add” so that you get to approve who adds or tags you in a picture
- You can report or flag any photo or comment that you consider to be inappropriate for review by Instagram staff
Advice to parents
Instagram is very popular among teens and — even though it’s against the rules — I’m sure there are some preteens using it as well. Kids need to understand how to use Instragram’s privacy features but mostly need to think about what is and isn’t appropriate to photograph, share and pass around to others. For more on safety, security and privacy for kids and teens, visit ConnectSafely.org and SafeKids.com – both sites that I help operate.
This post is adapted from one that appeared on Forbes.com