Getting started with 23snaps, an Instagram for parents

If you use Instagram primarily to share pictures of your kids with family and friends and are cutting ties with the Facebook-owned app, then you might find 23snaps a suitable replacement.

If you are like me, then you use Instagram mostly to snap shots of your kids. And if you are like me, then you feel a bit uneasy after reading the news this week about Instagram's change to its privacy policy , despite its apology and reassurances a day later that it harbors no plans to sell your photos. If you are looking for an Instagram replacement, I would steer parents toward iPhone app 23snaps.

In actuality, 23snaps is more like a mini-Facebook than Instagram. It lets you create profiles for each of your kids and post status updates along with both photos and videos.

After signing up for an account, you are offered a chance to share the account with a partner. He or she will be able to make updates and invite their own followers (say, your in-laws).

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Next, you can create profiles for your kids. Tap the button in the upper-left corner or swipe right to reveal the menu options. Tapping the "Manage your children" button will let you add a profile for each of your kids. For each profile, you give name, birthday, and gender information. You can also add a profile picture, and once a profile is created, you can add a wallpaper.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

After you set up profiles for your kids, you can invite people to follow you by tapping the "Family & Friends" button. You can look people up in your phone's contacts, Gmail and Yahoo mail, and Facebook, or you can e-mail invites.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To share a photo or video or a simple status update, tap the orange button in the upper-right corner to reveal four menu options along the right edge: Photo, Video, Status, and Measure. When you go to post a photo, video, or status update, the publish screen lets you add a caption, add filters and other edits, tag children, add to a collection (Favorites, Firsts, and so on), set the date, and share to Facebook. One note on videos: I tried to upload a 56-second video taken with my iPhone 4S and was told it was too long. Thankfully, the app provides an easy trimming tool for videos.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Your updates appear in your News Feed, similar to your Instagram profile. For each update, your followers can comment, like, and share.

Menu items are added for each of your children under the Family & Friends button. Tap on these to view a specific child's feed, which shows only the updates in which he or she was tagged. And on a child's profile, you can tap the top button to switch between three views: Timeline, Gallery, and Calendar.

 

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