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The Basics of Instagram

The Basics of Instagram

Man on Phone


What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media network that uses photos and videos to interact with others. It is mobile based which means you can only post to your Instagram account from the app on a smartphone or tablet. However, you can view Instagram accounts on a desktop computer.

Like Facebook, Instagram has a News Feed. When you follow someone's account, their photos and videos will show up in your news feed. Similarly, when you create a post, that photo or video will be saved to your profile and will also show up in the News Feeds of those who have followed your account. Users can also like, comment, and tag one another in posts, as well as send direct messages or DM's.

Posting to Instagram

After logging in to your account, you will see your News Feed. This is where posts from the people and brands you follow will appear. At the bottom of the screen, there will be a menu bar.

The menu bar has the following:

  • House- This is your home button and will allow you to return to your News Feed from other screens
  • Magnifying Glass- This lets you search for usernames, hashtags and other information.
  • Plus Sign- This is where you add/create a post.
  • Heart- View your notifications here.
  • Profile Picture/Circle- This takes you to your profile.

Upclose view of Instagram menu bar

To begin creating your post, tap the plus sign. The app will either open directly to your phone's photo gallery or it will activate your camera. If you want to post a photo/video that you've already taken, you can tap on the word gallery at the bottom of the screen or swipe until it is selected. The photos from the gallery on your phone will then be displayed for you to choose from.

If you want to take a photo/video to post, you can tap on the word photo or video, or swipe until either is selected. You will then tap the large circle to take your photo or hold it down to record a video.

Keep in mind that Instagram only allows videos up to 60 seconds long, whether you are uploading a video or taking new one.

After you have taken or chosen your photo/video, tap next in the upper right corner. You will then be given the option of choosing from several filters and editing features. Once you are done editing, tap Next again.

Now you are ready to finish up your photo/video with a great caption and even a location before sharing it with the world. You will also be given the option of sharing your post directly to Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

When you are ready, just hit Share, and your post will publish to your profile and the News Feed!

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