By now, you’ve probably heard of Instagram. It’s a popular social media platform where you can instantly view photos taken by friends, family, and others. Plus, you can share your own photos as well. While it sounds a bit like Facebook, Instagram is much more simplified and is completely photocentric. Getting started is incredibly easy, and it’s much less overwhelming than many other social platforms. Here’s a rundown of the basics.
What, exactly, is Instagram?
Instagram, though it’s owned by Facebook, is a bit different – and much less busy. It’s a free app dedicated solely to quickly and easily sharing photos with others. It’s quite recognizable in that photos are displayed in a square format and are often reminiscent of Polaroids.
While you can access the app via your computer, it’s primarily designed to be viewed on a mobile device. This puts all the photos you want to see right in the palm of your hand.
What can one do with Instagram?
By following friends, family, and other users, their photos will show up automatically in your feed.
You can use the app simply to view others’ pictures or you can snap and upload your own. If you do decide to upload your own snapshots, you can add stylish filters to them as well.
Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of interaction, too. Not only can you “like” images by double-tapping them or tapping on the heart icon, you can also leave comments. Additionally, you can save your favorite photos to a collection of images you’d like to easily access again.
How does one register to use it?
Using your smartphone or tablet, you’ll first need to download the app. iPhone users can find it in the app store, and those with Android phones can grab it from Google Play.
When you first open the app, you’ll be able to register by using your Facebook account or an email address. If you’re already a Facebook user, registering via your Facebook account is likely the easiest route. If you aren’t on Facebook, don’t worry, you can set up an account using your email address.
Regardless of how you register, you’ll need to come up with a unique username. This can be challenging considering how many names have already been taken. You may need to add some numbers or get creative with your name.
Ones registered, you can tap on the plus sign to add a profile photo. The app will let you choose between taking a snapshot right then and there or uploading an existing image.
It should be noted that new Instagram accounts default to a public setting. To make your Instagram private (e.g. shared with approved family members only), you’ll need to change your settings. To do this, you’ll first tap in the upper right-hand corner, then on “Settings” at the bottom. A little way down the page, there’s a slider labeled “Private Account,” which you can tap to turn on.
Next, you’ll want to start following people.
How does one follow folks?
By tapping on the magnifying glass, you can search for your friends, family, favorite brands, celebrities, and more. Ask your loved ones for their usernames so you can easily find them on the site. As you follow people, their photos will show up automatically in your feed.
What about taking photos?
Taking your own photos is as easy as tapping on the plus sign. This will open your phone’s camera automatically. There, you can select “gallery,” to upload photos you already have, or choose between taking photo or video.
Once you’ve got your photo selected or snapped, you’ll have the option to add a filter if you want. When you’re done customizing, simply tap “Next.” There, you can write a caption and/or tag a location. When done, simply click “Share.” That’s it!
The more you use the app, the sooner you’ll get used to all its additional features.