With 120.7 million users, Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms. If you’re new to it, you might be wondering what makes it different from other social media like Facebook or Twitter.
Instagram is primarily based on posting and sharing photos. This makes it perfect for sharing art and photos, as well as any everyday photos you want to share. It became popular due to its focus on photographs.
Thanks to its popularity, Instagram has become a great platform to advertise your business. It also connects people who have gained a lot of followers with brands who want to sponsor them. This is one of the ways “influential” social networks make money.
If you want to start using Instagram for whatever reason, then knowing how the platform works will help you get the most out of your experience.
How to post on Instagram
The most important thing to know about Instagram is how exactly to post. The platform has a lot of options when creating a post, and there are some things you might miss that can really help you post what you love.
Here are the basics of creating an Instagram post:
- Tap the + icon in the bottom center of the screen. A new screen will open showing your film.
- Select the image you want to post. You can also click Photo film at the top of the screen to find images in another album on your phone.
- On the image you select, you will see some icons at the bottom. On the right, you can use Boomerang, which creates a GIF-like image, create a collage, or select multiple photos to post. After you’ve chosen what you want to post, select Further.
- You will now have the option to select a filter or edit your post yourself. Instagram provides a wide variety of photo editing options that you can use to make your image look exactly how you want it to look. When you’re done, click Further.
- On the last screen, you can add a caption that will be published with your photo. You can also tag other Instagram users by clicking Tag people. There is also an option to add a location to your photo which will also be published. When you’re done and happy with your photo and settings, tap Share it to make your post public.
- If you want to wait until later to post, you can go back to the edit page and tap Cancel. A window will appear asking if you want to delete the post or save it as a draft. You can access your drafts along with your film photos.
How to use Instagram Stories
Another popular feature on Instagram is Stories. These are photos or videos you can post that are stored for 24 hours and then disappear. However, there is an option to save the story as a highlight, which you can save to your profile.
Creating a story on Instagram is easy:
- From your main feed or profile, tap your profile picture in the left corner to open your camera (you may need to give Instagram permission to use your camera and microphone).
- Here you can take a photo or video, or use one of the other camera options that Instagram provides. You can also add filters by tapping one of them to the right of the shutter button.
- When the photo or video is taken, you can click Your story in the lower left corner of the screen to publish it. There’s also the option to post it to close friends’ stories, allowing you to choose who can view it.
You can also go live from your phone to Instagram by choosing Live all the way to the left at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to broadcast videos from your phone’s camera and your followers can follow you by tapping the story icon.
How to edit your profile page and create highlights
You can view your own profile by tapping the icon in the lower right corner of the screen. At this point, you may be wondering how you can personalize your profile to suit you.
To change your profile, click Edit profile right above where your photos are placed. Here you can change your profile picture, display name and username, create a short bio, and even post a website link that anyone can click on.
You also have the option to highlight your profile. These are photos and videos you’ve saved from your story that you’d like to show. To create a highlight, you need to tap on the highlight icon in the lower right corner of the story. This will create a selection if you have not created one.
You can then go to your profile and select new button next to highlighted ones to add new ones.
Here you can select multiple photos or videos from past stories that you want to include in your main story. After choosing some, choose Further. On this screen, you can create a title for the highlight and choose a cover photo. Any highlights you create will be visible on your profile for anyone to see.
Using direct messaging
You should see a paper airplane icon in the top right corner of your main Instagram feed. Here you can tap to view your direct messages or DMs.
Here you can privately message or video chat with people and even send them posts you see on Instagram. To start a new message, tap the pencil icon in the upper right corner and find the name of the user you want to start a chat with. If you want to find someone you’ve already talked to, you can use the search function above your messages.
If you want to send someone a post you see on Instagram, all you have to do is tap the airplane icon below the post, choose who you want to send it to, and then tap Send. You can also post to your story this way.