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Instagram-All the basics and essentials you need to know!

Instagram is a free, online photograph sharing application and interpersonal organization stage that was obtained by Facebook in 2012.

Instagram permits users to alter and transfer photographs and short recordings through a mobile application. Users can add an inscription to every one of their posts and use hashtags and area based geotags to list these posts. And make them accessible by different clients inside the application. Users likewise have the alternative of creating their profile private with the goal  so that only their followers can view their posts.

Similarly as with other informal communication stages, Instagram users can like, comment on and bookmark others’ posts. Just as send private messages to their companions by means of the Instagram Direct feature. Photographs can be shared on one or a few other online media websites .- including Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr – with a with a single click.

Instagram isn’t just a tool for people, but also for business. The photograph sharing application offers organizations the chance to begin a free business record to advance their image and items. Companies with business accounts have access to free engagement and impression metrics. As indicated by Instagram’s site, more than 1 million advertisers overall use Instagram to share their accounts and drive business results. Moreover, 60% of individuals say they find new items through the application.

History of Instagram

Instagram was started in San Francisco by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who initially tried creating a platform similar to Foursquare but then turned their attention exclusively to photo sharing. The word Instagram is an amalgam of “instant camera” and “telegram.”

The iOS app was released through the iTunes App Store on Oct. 6, 2010, and the Android app was released on April 3, 2012. The platform’s popularity skyrocketed, with the company reporting more than 40 million active users just two years after launch. This caught the attention of Facebook, which officially purchased Instagram for $1 billion in the summer of 2012.

Originally, only photos could be posted to Instagram.

Yes at the very first only photos could be posted to Instagram. But the company expanded to 15-second videos in 2013. In 2016, Instagram upped the maximum video length to 60 seconds. Until 2015, all photos posted to Instagram were confined to a square aspect ratio. The company changed this to allow users to upload photos and video at full size.

The company has been the source of some controversy. In 2012, Instagram added this sentence to its Terms of Service policy:

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Following heavy backlash from users who feared Instagram would sell their photos and identifiers, CEO Systrom assured users that wasn’t the company’s intention. The language was quickly removed from the policy.

A 2013 controversy centered around criticisms that Instagram was censoring photos that didn’t break the company’s terms and conditions . And that these censorships were unfairly targeting women’s bodies. Instagram’s decision in 2016 to shift from displaying timeline photos in chronological order to using an algorithm to determine photo order also drew negative feedback.

As of April 2017, the company had 700 million active users, more than twice that of Twitter’s total user base.

Instagram Stories

instagram stories

Stories are a quick, easy way to share moments and experiences. Use text, music, stickers and GIFs to bring your story to life.

instagram stories

Play with video. Make any moment more fun with effects like Boomerang and Superzoom.

boomerang

Interact with your friends. Add the Questions sticker and other interactive features to your Stories to share and get feedback from friends.

instagram questions

Pin your favorite moments to your profile. Share your Stories for more than 24 hours by posting them as Highlights on your Profile.

stories

IGTV

instagram igtv

IGTV is a way of uploading videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes in length. Some verified and large accounts are able to upload videos up to 60 minutes in length, however.

All IGTV videos are meant to be viewed vertically, so only videos between the ratios 4:5 and 9:16 are allowed. In order to upload videos to IGTV, you need to first create a channel.

IGTV exists so users can create more compelling content to engage their audience. Since engaging content is what social media is all about, IGTV is worth investigating.

Instagram Explore (Discover)

instagram explore

The Instagram Explore page is where Instagram curates content for its users. Every user will see different content on their Explore page. And this is based on the posts they like, and the people they follow. Simply put, it’s a collection of posts that Instagram thinks you might enjoy.

Instagram says that more than 50% of it’s users use the Explore page. And that’s a lot of people. Instagram has more than a billion active users, which means there are 500 million users actively checking the Explore page.

But how does Instagram decide which posts will appear on the page?

That’s decided by their algorithm, and they consider things like:

  • Posts that people you follow have liked
  • All Posts with high engagement
  • Posts from accounts similar to ones you already follow

Around the middle of 2019, Instagram did an overhaul of their Explore page. They added filters to the top of the page, so that users are able to find specific content that they’ll enjoy. They also pinned two specific filters to appear first: IGTV and Shop. This is followed by topic-specific channels. And Instagram has rolled out Stories on the Explore page for some accounts, as well.

Add location: Location tags let others know where your photo was taken. Clicking on a location tag brings you to its corresponding location feed, where you can peruse other public posts.

Also post to other social accounts: Instagram also gives you the ability to publish a post to other social accounts at the same time. By linking accounts, you can cross-post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

‘Close friends’ list

instagram close friends

For the first few years of Instagram’s existence, it was a pain to hide stories from people. You had to dig into an individual story’s settings and select followers to hide it from. Then, if you wanted to let those followers see the next story, you had to go into that story’s settings and undo the block.

But in 2018, Instagram launched the close friends feature, which makes it much easier to share content with a limited group. Once you’ve created a close friends list, you’ll have the option to share stories with just that list. If you’re posting content that could be controversial, personal, the option can save you some stress.

The Close Friends list allows you to chose who can see certain stories, and you can add and remove followers from the list at any time (without them ever knowing).

And just like regular Instagram Stories posts, your story will be available to view for only 24 hours for your Close Friends list.

Once you’ve posted an Instagram story to your Close Friends list, your profile image will appear with a green circle around it, both on your Profile page (which only you can see) and in your Close Friends’ feed.

The green circle helps it stand out from the other pink circles that usually highlight an account has live Instagram Stories posts you haven’t seen yet.

Five Buttons at the bottom

Here’s what each button does, from left to right:

  • Home: Your main feed where you can scroll through photos and videos posted by your friends.
  • Search and explore: The magnifying glass icon takes you to the Explore page, where you can search and browse content from accounts you don’t follow yet but might be interested in.
  • Upload: The large plus button is how you can upload and edit photos and videos, either by choosing from your phone’s camera roll, or opening the camera within the app.
  • Activity: The heart icon takes you to a page that displays like and comments on your posts, among other activity updates.
  • Profile: This icon navigates to your profile page that shows your bio and posts. It’s also where you can access your settings.

Posts

Image posts are the most common found on the platform, with 95 million being uploaded every day. Images were previously required to be square, but that’s no longer the case. Now you can upload vertical/portrait images with an aspect ratio of 4:5, landscape/horizontal images with an aspect ratio of 16:9, and then anything in between. In your profile overview, the images will still be displayed as square however, this may be something to consider when posting.

Uploading, editing, and posting photos

To share a photo or video on Instagram, tap the large plus button, where you can select photos or videos from your phone’s camera roll to post. Instagram allows you to to select up to 10 photos and videos to post at once.For every post, you can choose to apply a filter, which, depending on who you ask, is essential to the Instagram experience. Filters make it easy to edit shots with different visual pre-set overlays. For example, some filters, like “Mayfair,” give everything a pink hue; others, like “Willow,” turn everything black-and-white.

instagram posts

Once your post is to your liking and ready to go,

There are a few more optional things you can do before you hit the “share” button:

Add a caption: Captions are always a good idea. You can use words, emojis, or hashtags. Just like in comments, you can also “mention” friends by placing “@” in front of their username. Keep in mind you can edit captions at any time – or delete them, if need be in the future.

Tag people: Instagram allows you to “tag” someone in your photos. When you tag someone, they’ll get a notification in their activity feed.

Add location: Location tags let others know where your photo was taken. Clicking on a location tag brings you to its corresponding location feed, where you can peruse other public posts.

Also post to other social accounts: Instagram also gives you the ability to publish a post to other social accounts at the same time. By linking accounts, you can cross-post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Direct messages

direct messages

In addition to commenting on people’s post, Instagram has a direct messaging system that lets you chat privately with anyone who follows you. If you send a message to someone who doesn’t follow you, that message will be sorted into its own “message requests” folder. To start the conversation, the person on the receiving end must accept the message.

Direct messages are available both in the app, and on the desktop website.

To access your messages menu, tap the paper airplane icon in your home feed. From there, you’ll be shown all the people you’ve had conversations with in the past. You can also tap the pen and paper icon in the top right corner to start a new conversation, or the camera icon to start a video chat.Once you’re in a conversation, you can send all sorts of messages. These include basic text messages, shared Instagram posts, animated GIFs, and more. You can also “like” messages, or delete messages if you no longer wish to see them.

Instagram Live

instagram live

Instagram Live is a feature that lets you “livestream” – in other words, broadcast live video from your device to anyone who wants to watch. Viewers can send you messages and hearts while you stream, making this a great way to talk to all your followers at once, or broadcast an event.

To go “go live” on Instagram, you’ll need to open Instagram and head to the in-app camera screen. Once there, you can select “Live” at the bottom of the screen. You can go live for one hour at a time – after that, the livestream will end and you’ll need to start again.

While you’re streaming, viewer comments are visible by default, but can be disabled with just a few taps. Whenever anyone you follow starts starts a livestream, you’ll get a notification. If you’re following a lot of people, this might mean a constant flood of notifications that you don’t need. Luckily, turning off Instagram Live notifications only takes a moment.

Instagram Shopping

instagram shopping

Given Instagram’s popularity, it’s no surprise that brands are doing everything they can to turn Instagram users into customers. According to Instagram, millions of people shop on Instagram every day.

Instagram Shop is a huge opportunity for any brand looking to sell products on Instagram.

With Instagram Shop, brands can curate a list of shoppable products that are directly accessible through their Instagram profile — and benefit from a ton of product discovery opportunities.

Instagram Shop offers a way for businesses to showcase their product catalog and reach new customers on Instagram. 

Brands can curate a list of shoppable products that are directly accessible through the “View Shop” button on their Instagram profile page. 

Instagram Reels

instagram reels

Built as a rival to TikTok, Instagram Reels lets you record and upload short videos up to 15 seconds long. Once you record a video, you can edit it and add music, text, and special effects.

Other users can like or comment on your Reels videos, so they can be a fun way to attract new followers.

To record a Reels video, tap the camera icon in the top-left corner of your home screen, and then select “Reels” from the slider at the bottom of the screen.To find Reels made by others, tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen to open the Explore page. The first post you see, bigger than all the rest, will be a randomly selected Reels video – tap it to open the Reels feed, where you can swipe up or down to find new videos.

Profile

profile

Your Instagram profile is where you tell people who you are and what you like to post. When you click on the option “Edit your profile,” you can add your name as the heading of your bio and write whatever else about yourself you would like. You can add a link to another website, such as your social media profile on Twitter or Facebook. You may also choose a profile picture. This will appear at the top left of your profile, your posts, and any comments you write.

You can find your own profile page by choosing the rightmost tab on the bottom of your screen. Before you set a profile picture, the icon for this tab will appear as a white figure inside of a grey circle. This will later change to your chosen profile picture. On your profile, you’ll find all of the photos and videos you’ve shared and any photos other users have tagged you in (called “Photos of You”). You should also see Story Highlights underneath your bio. This will allow you to add any stories you have posted on your profile permanently.

Public Account

This privacy setting means that anyone can view your posts and the photos people have tagged you in, even if they aren’t following you. You can set your account to either public or private under the Privacy section in Settings.

Private Account

When you activate the private account setting, people who aren’t following you can still find and see your profile (bio and user name) but won’t be able to gain access to your posts or the posts of you tab.

Hashtags

hashtags

Hashtags are used to give context to your post or comment. They can help other users discover your posts when they search on Instagram, but only if your account is public. If you are looking to have more engagement with your profile, you need to create effective hashtags by referencing popular words or short phrases related to your content or account.

For example, if you shared a post of you hanging out with friends, you could use the hashtags #friendsforever or #gamenight. When you are crafting a post and put in a hashtag, you will be able to see how many other posts have been made using the same hashtag. Some hashtags may have millions of posts using them, whereas others may have few to none. Using popular hashtags will increase the chances of people finding your post. You can find other users’ posts by hashtag when searching in the Explore section or by clicking any hashtag in the caption or comments of a post.

Follow

instagram follow

When someone follows you, your posts become part of their feed (the home tab). If you make your account private, the person has to send you a follow request, which you can either accept or deny. If someone follows you, they may be able to see which posts you have recently liked or commented on in their Activity tab.

To follow someone, visit their profile and choose “Follow.” If this then becomes “Requested,” you are dealing with a private account. In this case, you will be notified when the user accepts.

To unfollow someone, go to their profile and click on the “Following” tab. From there, you can unfollow someone, mute their posts, or restrict their interaction with your account. These are good options if you want to reduce your contact without blocking someone.

To remove a follower, click on the number of followers you have on your profile. You can then remove any users you want without them being notified.

Conclusion

Whether or not you are an aspiring influencer, images lover, or an normal social media consumer, Instagram is a high-quality region to be. it’s smooth to get started out, so if this manual has piqued your interest, provide it a strive.

And if for something cause you later determine it is not for you, you could delete your Instagram account at any time. No commitment.

Explore more!

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