Explained: What is Instagram?

Do you have any “cool” kids around you? If yes, then you’ve just heard them mentioning the word “Instagram.” Around for a few years, this trendy social networking app for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone is quietly picking up traction, mostly because of a new obsession with mobile photography. 

An Intro to Instagram

Like other social networking platforms, Instagram too provides its users with a profile and a news feed.

Once you create an account, you’ll get a profile and a news feed, and whenever you post a photo or video on the social media platform, it displays on your profile. Your followers (they are other users who follow you) see your posts in their news feed. Similarly, you see posts from other users you follow in your news feed. 

One can say that this social media platform is like a simplified version of Facebook, with a primary focus on mobile use and visual sharing. Like Facebook or Twitter, you interact with other users on this social network by following them, following them, commenting, liking, tagging, and private messaging. Also, if you want, you can save the photos you see on Instagram too. 

Devices That Work With Instagram

Instagram has strong apps for iOS devices (such as iPhone and iPad), Android devices (such as phones and tablets from Google, Samsung, and so on), and other common mobile platforms. 

One can also use Instagram on the web. However, you will not be able to access the same features available in the standalone versions. Uploading photos and videos and sharing existing content with other Instagram users is only possible from the mobile app. 

Create an Account on Instagram

To use the app, you’ll first have to create an account, don’t worry, you wouldn’t have to pay any money. You can create an Instagram account either with your existing Facebook account or by email. All you need is a username and a password. This Instagram email address is not permanent and can be changed anytime. 

Once you are done creating an account, the first thing that I’d recommend that you do is to customize your profile by adding your name, a photo, a short bio, and a website link (if you have one).

Use Instagram as a Social Network

On this social network, the main intention is to share and find the best photos and videos. There are followers, and the following count on each user profile; the former represents how many people you follow, while the latter represents how many other users are following you. 

All you have to do is tap the follow button present on their user profile to follow another user. If a user has their profile set to private, they must approve your request first. 

The difference between a public and a private profile is simple. If your profile is set to the former, then anyone can find and view your profile, along with your photos and videos. If you don’t want everyone to find and view your profile & its content, then just set it to private; with this setting, only the followers you approve will see your posts.

It is quite fun and easy to interact with on posts. To like a post, all you have to do is just double-tap it; you can also add a comment at the bottom. Moreover, you can click the arrow button to share it with someone using Instagram Direct.

Finding more interesting accounts to follow is also quite easy; you have to utilize the search tab. Marked by the magnifying glass icon, you can use it to browse through tailored posts recommended to you. Additionally, you can use the search icon at the bottom to look for specific users or hashtags. 

Apply Filters and Edit Your Instagram Posts

Instagram has changed a lot since its inception, especially in terms of posting options. When it was launched back in ’10, users could only post photos through the app and add filters without extra editing features. 

Today, it allows users to post through the app or from existing photos or videos saved on their devices. Users can also post photos and videos up to 1 full minute in length and are provided with several extra filter options along with the ability to tweak and edit. 

If you want to post something, you can tap the middle Instagram posting tab; you can then select either the photo or video tab to let the app know whether you want to post a picture or take a video. Furthermore, you can also use the Library to select something you saved if you don’t want to capture it through the app. 

Do you know how many filters Instagram has that you can apply to photos and videos? Well, they are forty in total, amazing isn’t it. As mentioned above, it provides you with some photo editing options, too, such as letting you straighten the image, adjust things like brightness and warmth, and overlay color. You get a few options for videos, too, such as you can disable audio, select a cover frame, and, if you use the app on an iOS device, trim videos. Or, try Instagram Reels to create fifteen-second video clips. 

Share Your Instagram Posts

Once you are done applying filters and making edits, the app takes you to a tab where you can fill out a caption, tag it to a geographical location, tag other users to it, and simultaneously post it to your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks. 

Once you’ve published your post, your followers can view it and interact with it in their feeds. You can edit the post’s details anytime you want after publishing it, just by tapping the three dots at the top. You can also delete a post if you want.

As mentioned above, Instagram allows you to configure your account easily to post photos on other social networks. If these sharing configurations are highlighted, instead of remaining gray and inactive, your Instagram photos are automatically posted to your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr after you select Share. Moreover, if you don’t want your photo shared on any social network, tap one so that it’s gray and set to Off. 

View and Publish Instagram Stories

Instagram has a Stories feature, appearing at the top of your main feed. This secondary feed contains photo bubbles of the users you follow. 

If you want to see the story or stories of a user published over the last 24 hours, you’ll have to tap on their bubble. People familiar with Snapchat will notice how similar the Instagram Stories feature is to it. 

If you want to publish your story, you’ll have to tap your photo bubble from the main feed or swipe right on any tab to access the Stories camera tab. 

Well, I guess that’s it for today; I hope you enjoyed the article. However, there is one thing that I want to say at the end, which is that this was just an intro to Instagram; there is still so much to know about Instagram. All you have to do is open Google and just put in the “Instagram” keyword; you’ll be provided with a list of helpful articles to help you navigate the social media platform. If you search a little more, you’ll also find articles that will help you uncover the platform’s most hidden tricks and help you connect with others in different ways.

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