- What is VSCO?
- Why Creativity Matters
- How Do Your Teens Use VSCO?
- Creator Interactions
- Privacy Controls
- How to Report
- Emotional Support Resources
What is VSCO?
VSCO is a photo and video editing and sharing platform that combines premium quality presets and tools, thoughtful curation, and a community for creators. Whether you're a curious beginner or a seasoned expert, VSCO has a range of plans to help you make it. Check out our Plans & Pricing page to learn more about VSCO’s different memberships.
VSCO is not intended to be a traditional social media platform. By not allowing the ability to comment on posts and keeping follower and like counts private to a creator, VSCO serves as a place where you can feel safe to express your true self without judgment. We want you to build a community based on your interests and what motivates you as a creator. You can interact with others on VSCO by favoriting content, sharing content to their Collection, direct messaging, collaborating in a Space, or participating in Space discussions.
We have both web and app versions of our platform. You can access VSCO on the web at www.vsco.co. We have an iOS app available for download here at the Apple App Store, and an Android app available for download here at the Google Play Store.
How to Operate on VSCO
We created our Community Guidelines to help us ensure our community remains positive, supportive, and trusted. In order to create and maintain a safe space for creators to experiment freely, be inspired, and make meaningful connections we expect all of our creators to understand and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
We aim to make sure everyone feels represented, heard, and protected on VSCO. Because of this our guidelines prohibit misbehavior such as nudity, hate speech, and unwanted sexual advances. Violating VSCO’s Community Guidelines may result in content deletion or account suspension.
At What Age Can You Join VSCO?
Read more about our age requirements here.
Why Creativity Matters
“When we are involved in creativity, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” - Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Developing the capacity for abstract thinking and one’s creative identity often begins in adolescence, allowing for creativity with meaning and purpose. This identity can serve as a direct motivating factor for the pursuit of creative endeavors.
Creativity has been found to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, and to help people process trauma. Studies have demonstrated that artistic expression helps people manage negative emotions in a productive way, as well as express experiences that they find too difficult to put into words. Engaging in creative behaviors, such as photography, can improve brain function, mental health, and physical health.
Over the past few years, the U.S. experienced a rise in adolescent mental health issues. In the fall of 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics along with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children's Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. In 2023, the U.S. Attorney General issued an advisory about the effects traditional social media use has on youth mental health.
At VSCO, our goal is to support all creators, including your teen's, creative journey.
How to Support Your Teen’s Creative Journey on VSCO
VSCO was created for creators, by creators, so we understand how impactful parental support can be when a young person is developing their creative self. Below are some ways to encourage their journey:
- Talk to your teen about their creative interests.
- Join VSCO (for free) to support and encourage your teen's creativity directly.
- Nurture and advocate for their creative pursuits.
- Invest in educational books like Joel Meyerowitz's "Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs."
- Take a trip to an art museum together.
- Be present and attentive when they showcase their VSCO creations.
- Print one of their photos to hang on your walls.
- Go on photo walks together - it's a great chance to do something creative and spend time together.
- Get to know and understand their visual storytelling.
- Learn their favorite presets, recipes, Spaces, and creators.
- Take each others’ portraits.
- Consider upgrading their access to a VSCO Membership so they can benefit from all of our editing tools, education, and inspiration.
How Do Your Teens Use VSCO?
|Studio - Studio is a private section where your teens can import and store media they want to edit, before publishing them on our platform. Depending on the membership they have, they have access to a certain number of presets and editing capabilities.|
|Profile - The VSCO Profile allows users to post their photographs publicly for anyone on or off VSCO to see.|
|Feed & Discover - For creators, by creators. Your teen’s feed is where they can see photographs from other VSCO creators and Collections they follow. Discover is where they can search for new and inspiring creators and Collections to follow.|
|VSCO Spaces - Spaces is a shared photo gallery with other VSCO Creators that provides a space for creators to workshop ideas, share inspiration, and connect through collective galleries. For specific information on how your teen can stay safe in VSCO Spaces see this article.|
Messaging - Your teens can start unlimited conversations with other creators they follow. We limit the number of conversations free VSCO creators can initiate per day with other creators who don’t follow them, while creators who pay for a VSCO membership (VSCO Members) can send unlimited messages to anyone
These limits are intended to keep Messages a safer experience.
Visit our How To Use VSCO article for more information.
At VSCO we believe that creating a shared community is essential to inspire a creator’s best work. There is no place for bullying, harassment, or hatred of any kind on VSCO. While we do our best to be proactive and prevent this type of abuse, if your teen does come across any content, message, or discussion that violates our Community Guidelines, or makes them uncomfortable, they can report it to our Trust & Safety Team and block the creator.
Bullying and Harassment
Our Trust & Safety Team combats bullying proactively by working on detection of this type of misbehavior and reactively by reviewing and acting on reports filed by our community. Our priority is to provide a safe space that enables self-expression, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your voice is not silenced by abuse of any kind.
Some of the behaviors we consider harassment include: wishing harm on someone, using language to intimidate or isolate a person or group of individuals, encouraging others to participate in harassing behaviors, targeting somebody for their belonging to a protected category such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender & gender identity, age, religious affiliation, disability or an illness.
For more information, see our Bullying and Harassment article.
Fraud and Spam
While we aim to provide a safe community for all our creators, not everyone operates in online communities, including VSCO, with the best intentions. If your teen has a gut feeling that a message they received may be a scam, they should operate with caution. Scams and fraud can happen anywhere. It is important to know what to look out for when interacting with other creators you may not know.
Someone offering your teen money in exchange for anything is a good indicator that it may be a scam. While they may claim there are no strings attached, it may actually be a scam.
See our Messaging Red Flags and How to Spot Them article for more information on types of messages to lookout for.
Please see the below for more features and resources designed to keep our creators safe.
We encourage all creators to keep their information safe by utilizing our privacy settings. Knowing that they can control what they share and post and who interacts with them will help ensure your teen is empowered to stay safe while being their true self on VSCO.
Messaging - In order to promote a safe and age-appropriate experience on VSCO, Message preferences for creators under 18 are defaulted to “Only allow messages from people I follow” upon sign-up. This control can be found under “Preferences” in the “Settings” menu.
Location - If you don’t want others on VSCO to know where the images they share were taken, be sure to deactivate this feature. If you decide to use the share location feature, we encourage creators to be respectful of people's privacy and to only post images of people who are comfortable with their location being shared publicly.
Collections - All images your teen publishes to their VSCO Profile can be favorited and republished to a Collection by another VSCO creator. However, if they are not comfortable with their content being in a Collection, they can remove any of their content by following the instructions provided here.
VSCO Username - No one has to use their real name when creating a VSCO account. Learn how to change your teen’s username and update their profile information here. Please note that while we allow anonymous use of VSCO, our policies prohibit impersonation.
For more information on additional Privacy settings, check out this article.
How to Report
Safety is at the core of VSCO. Ensuring that our community is safe is our top priority, especially when it comes to our teen creators. For that reason, we have built ways to report inappropriate content you or your teen may encounter on VSCO in app or on web. Rest assured, your reports will never be shared with the reported creator.
To report a post, Space, profile, or message click the icon, select the reporting option, and then select the reason you would like to report it.
For more detailed information on how to report inappropriate content on VSCO check out this article.
Blocking is a great way to protect your teen’s safety from creators that may make them uncomfortable. Blocking another creator on VSCO means that they won’t be able to send your teen a message, follow them, favorite their pictures, or share your teen’s content to their Collection. Rest assured, the blocked creator will not receive a notification that they have been blocked.
All creator accounts on our platform are public. Having all published content publicly available helps to discourage inappropriate content and behavior and also helps us to identify and remove inappropriate content quickly.
While someone may not be able to interact with your teen’s content after they have been blocked, blocking doesn’t prevent them from seeing their VSCO Profile or images. We are making product updates to improve our blocking capabilities to ensure creators have more control over who sees their content and who they interact with on VSCO.
More information on blocking can be found here.
Emotional Support Resources
At VSCO, we are dedicated to fostering positive experiences and communities. However, we understand that even with extensive and thoughtful safety features, the internet can be hard on one’s mental health – especially for young people.
If you believe your teen may be struggling with their mental health, it is never too early to start the conversation. It may be helpful to check out our Emotional Support Resources which provide free self-help options, and various ways to contact professional care for a diverse array of challenges.
If you believe your teen, or anyone else, may be in immediate danger to themselves or others, please contact your local law enforcement.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: August 11, 2023