Instagram is dedicating to one thing: connecting visually with other people. Members of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service shoot, edit, follow and comment on the photos and videos of everyone from friends and family to celebs and public figures. It's even got a Stories mode, where you can share photos and video that disappear after 24 hours. No what you use Instagram for, there plenty of ways to tweak and personalize your own visual sharing experience.
If you don't want to bombard your followers with too many pictures of one particular occasion, you can share multiple images or videos in a single post. You can choose up to 10 photos or videos per post, and can apply the same or different filters for each image. All of the photos and videos you post this way will have to be square, not in portrait or landscape orientations, however.
With more than 250 million daily users, Instagram Stories -- which was first seen as a lazy Snapchatclone -- is the place to share the little moments that are too silly for permanently posting to the timeline. Instagram Stories is now even more popular than the service that seemingly inspired it, as Snapchat's reporting 173 million daily active users, and Instagram's users spend more time per day in the app (32 minutes vs "more than 30 minutes").
To use stories, tap the camera icon at the upper left or swipe right from the home page, and start constructing your narrative with one or more images. A ring around your profile picture, which appears in the top row of your followers’ feeds, alerts them that a Story is available to view. Stories do not appear in your photo grid.
While a story disappears after 24 hours, you can save all the images and videos you used to create it. You can even decorate your story by drawing on your photos and videos or tapping out text in a range of colors. Instagram's even testing a new way for users to post their Stories to Facebook's own Stories feature (which isn't exactly taking off), as a new option for sharing to Facebook now appears in the page where you select where to send your Instagram stories post.
Spice up your posts by applying stickers to your photos. To do so, select a sticker using the icon that looks like a smiley face being peeled off of a background. You change the sticker size by pinching or zooming. As of early March, this feature is still being rolled out; users in the United States and Jakarta, Indonesia will also be able to choose from stickers relevant to their locations.
If you've selected an image or video that you want to post to Instagram, but get distracted or aren't sure whether to post it, you can save your work as a draft. Just use the back button on your phone to back out of your post and you'll be asked if you want to save it. When you're ready to send it live, tap on the add photo icon in the bottom center of the app and your unfinished work will appear under Drafts.
Instagram users can post live videos for their friends and followers thanks to Instagram Stories. To do so, navigate to your feed and swipe left. At the top of the screen, you'll get a prompt to tap the camera to send a disappearing photo or video. Keep in mind that you you won't be able to see those videos after you've stopped recording them.
Boomerang, an independent app that you can also access directly within Instagram, takes a burst of up to 10 photos and stitches them together into a high-speed looping video. After shooting your frames in portrait or landscape orientation with the single button, you can apply a filter, trim the video, and then share it on Instagram. Boomerang automatically saves to your camera roll for additional sharing.
Instagram’s Layout feature, which combines multiple photos into a single collage, is available either within Instagram or independently via the App Store or Google Play. Launching Layout gives you previews of custom layouts as you choose which photos to include from your camera roll. A Faces option shows you all the photos that feature people. Drag and drop photos to rearrange them, pinch to zoom or drag photos to adjust size and emphasis. Then you can flip or rotate photos to create intriguing arrangements or use the app’s mirror effects.