Instagram is a free photo-sharing application that lets users capture photos and share them on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Tumblr. Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and was launched in October 2010. Instagram quickly gained popularity, attracting more than 100 million active users by the time it was acquired by Facebook in April of 2012, for $1 billion in cash and stock. The user base has since swelled to over 300 million.
Instagram is available for download on the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store. Whether you’ve been highly addicted to Instagram for a couple of years now, or you’re just a beginner, these Instagram tips and tricks will help you to become a pro.
Click on a link to jump to a topic:
- How to get started
- How to perfect your photos
- How to tag people
- How to mention other Instagrammers
- How to like photos and videos
- How to make your photos and videos private
- How to link Instagram to your Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr accounts
- How to record video on Instagram
- How to embed your photos on the Web
- How to add to your photo map
- How to remove photos you’re tagged in
- How to use popular hashtags
- How to use Instagram on the Web
- How to get featured by Instagram
- How to share GIFs on Instagram
- How to apply a border to your photo
How to get started
To register for an Instagram account, you must download the Instagram app from the App Store, Google Play Store or from the Windows Phone Store. Once the app has finished downloading, tap the Instagram icon to open it. Tap Sign Up, and then you will need to enter your email address, and tap Next to log in with your Facebook account. Once you’ve created an account, you can view Instagram from your computer or phone.
From there, you’ll need to do a few things to get started:
- Add a profile picture: You can easily add a profile photo to the Instagram app from your mobile device. Go to your profile by tapping on your profile picture, tap the blank circle by your name, and import a picture from your phone’s photo library, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Find people to follow: Now that you’ve created your Instagram account, you’re ready to find users to follow. By now, a lot of your friends are probably already using Instagram, so you can go to your profile tab and select Find Friends. Here you can search for friends that have connected their Facebook and Twitter accounts to Instagram. You can also search by name, username, or tag. You can also follow celebrities or people whose photos you admire. Following interesting people is a great way to get inspired.
- Post your first photo: To post your first photo, simply tap on the camera icon in the middle of the bottom menu of the app. You can then either snap a photo or choose one from your gallery. Once you choose the photo you want, hit Next. From there, you’ll be able to apply filters and adjust the photo in other ways. Finally, you’ll be promoted to add a caption, tags, and at mention people.
How to perfect your Instagram photos
While Instagram offers a good selection of filters, there are plenty of photo-editing apps like VSCOcam, Snapseed, and Adobe Photoshop Express that will really make your photos stand out and take them to the next level. Within those apps you can find the best filter that works for you, so you can really make your photos pop.
How to tag people
If you’re uploading a new photo and want to tag someone, tap on the person you want to tag and enter their name or username. If for some reason you don’t see the person you’re looking for, Instagram makes it easy to search for people you know. If you want to tag people in a photo that you’ve already uploaded, go to the photo, tap menu on iOS or Android, and tapTag People.
How to mention other Instagrammers
To mention a friend, type @ in front of their username. (e.g. “great article, @karnjar84!”). Your friend will then receive a notification in their activity feed letting them know that you mentioned them. If you want to reply to someone in a comment thread, just mention them, and they will get a notification in their activity feed.
How to like photos and videos
To like a photo or video on Instagram, simply double tap the photo or video, or you can tap the <3 under the post. If you for some reason liked a post, that you later decide you don’t like, just tap the <3 again to unlike it.
How to make your photos and videos private
When you first create your Instagram account, anyone can see your profile on Instagram. If you want to make your posts private, go to your profile, tap on Settings, and turn on the Private Account settings. If you want to make it so anyone can see your photos and videos, skip this step.
How to link Instagram to your Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr accounts
Because Instagram is one of the most popular social apps, you’ll want to make sure that you connect all of your social accounts to get the most out of it. You can choose to link your Twitter, Facebook Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr and web accounts. To get your social accounts linked, go to the Profile Tab > Edit Sharing Settings, then select which accounts you want to connect. Every time you upload a photo to Instagram, you’ll have the option to select which photos you want to share to each of the social networks. You can also choose to share your photos on Instagram only.
How to record video on Instagram
With Instagram video, you can create short video clips from three to fifteen seconds long. To record a video, press the camera button and tap the video record icon on the right. When you’re done recording your video, tap Next, and you can add filters just like you can on a photo.
How to embed your photos on the Web
Did you take a photo that is absolutely amazing and you want to share it on your blog? Go to Instagram on the web and find the picture you want to share, click on the menu button, select View Photo Page, and then click on the menu button and choose the Embed option. You can copy and paste the code anywhere on the Web to show off the photo you took. If your content is set as private on Instagram, you won’t be able to share the photo.
How to add to your photo map
By turning on Add to Your Photo Map, you can let your followers know where exactly took each photo. Once you enable this feature, your photos will show up on your map. You can even add a specific name to your photos (e.g. “Starbucks”).
How to remove photos you’re tagged in
If one of your friends tags you in a photo, it will show up in the Photos of You section on your profile page. When you come across a tagged photo of yourself that you don’t like, you can choose to hide it. To remove a single photo, tap on the embarrassing photo and you will see your Instagram handle. Tap on your handle and you’ll instantly see a menu, then select hide from my profile.
How to use popular hashtags
Adding hashtags is a great way to get new followers and share your photos with more people. Choosing the right tags will help you connect with other people who have the same interests on Instagram. It’s important to make sure that you use tags that describe your photo. For example, if you take a picture of a Volkswagen, you can use the hashtags #vwbus and #volkswagen. If you use the wrong hashtags, you might not get any followers.
How to use Instagram on the Web
How to get featured by Instagram
You can easily gain thousands of new followers each day by getting featured. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t really share how they choose users, but if you get added to their suggested users list, you’ll get tons of exposure on the popular social network. If you do get added to the suggested users list, you’ll get to stay there for at least one week. To have a good chance of getting on the list, make sure that your photos have a consistent and identifiable niche or style, and you’ll soon get noticed by other Instagram users.
How to share GIFs on Instagram
GifShare is an app that allows you to share GIFs to your favorite social networks. To create an account, you can visit https://instagram.com/gifshare/. You can search for GIFs or upload from your camera roll. GifShare accepts gif, mp4, mov, mpg, and m4v file formats. You can download GifShare from the App Store.
How to apply a border to your photo
With Instagram, you can have fun adding borders to your filtered photos. Upload the photo you want to add a border too, tap Next, tap the filter again, and then tap on border icon, which is located on the right side. If you decide not to add a border to your photo, tap X to cancel and save your change.