Become an Instagram Master
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.
Share Multiple Images and Videos at Once
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.
Create a Story
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.
Share Live Stories
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.
Use Instagram with Boomerang
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.
Create Collages with Layout
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.
Edit Your Post After the Fact
Twitter may lack editing features, but on Instagram, you can edit your original post without having to pull it down and redo it. Just navigate to your entry, tap the three-dot button at the upper right of the pane, and tap Edit. Then you can add a location, add or change a caption, or tag people. Just save the new version when you’re done.
Use Built-in Photo Editing Tools
When it comes to taking photos, you may shooting from your phone’s default camera app and edit with that app’s photo tools before you post to Instagram. But if you start shooting in Instagram, you never have to leave the app. Instagram has extensive image editing tools as well as its famous filters, and they are located right near the Filter tool. After shooting your picture with Instagram, tap Edit to access tools that let you crop and straighten your image. You can also adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, color, highlights and shadows, tilt shift, sharpen and more.
Show, Hide and Order Filters
Instagram has a multitude of filters. Inevitably, there are some you use often and others you probably never use. Instead of having to scroll through every filter in default order to choose the one you want, you can customize the order so that your favorites appear first. Just open an image and navigate to the end of the filters to the Manage square. Tap to open the filter list, and then tap and slide to reorder items in the list. Instagram also lets you hide or show filters by checking or unchecking them individually.
Get Notified When Others Post New Pictures
Last summer, Instagram changed the algorithm that orders photos in your feed from a chronological system to one that operates more like Facebook, relying on shares, likes and comments to order the presentation. Love it or hate it, that move makes it easier to miss some entries. If there’s someone on Instagram whose posts you simply cannot miss, you can enable Notifications specifically for that person. Just go to their profile page, tap the three-dot icon at the top, and select Turn on Post Notifications. Just make sure Instagram is also enabled in your own Notifications settings.
Share Photos with Selected Followers
Instagram Direct lets you share photos with only the people you want seeing them, as opposed to every single one of your followers. Use Instagram Direct to retain certain family or event pictures for limited distribution and prevent them from showing up in a search, your feed or your profile. Direct lets you share a photo with up to 15 people, who can then view and comment as usual.
First tap the Send button at the upper right of the Feed pane, then tap New Message to select from among your followers. From there, tap the image icon to select a photo and write a message. When you’re done, tap Send. A new feature also extends ephemeral, Snapchat-style photos and videos to Direct for communicating with your followers.
Embed Photos on the Web
While Instagram is inherently a mobile app, you may want to embed an entry from someone you follow into a blog post or your website. For that, you need an embed code, which you can find via Instagram on the web. Click the three dot button in the bottom right corner, and choose Embed. Then just copy the code and check to include the caption.
Use Hashtags to Build Presence and Followers
Adding hashtags (#) to the captions or comments of your photos or videos can help build your follower base or publicize a particular image. Choosing the right tags will help you connect with other people who share similar interests on Instagram. When you start typing a hashtag, Instagram will display similar tags for you to choose from and display the number of posts for each tag. You can add up to 30 tags to your own post.
Remove Photos You’re Tagged In
If a friend tags you in a photo, it will appear in the Photos of You section on your profile page. If you are unhappy about that or don’t like the picture, there is something you can do to hide it without triggering a dustup with your buddy. To remove a photo, tap on the offending picture to view your Instagram handle. From there you can select Hide from My Profile or Remove Me From Photo.
To prevent accidents, you can set up your account so that photo tags will appear only with your approval. To do that, under Tagging Options, choose Add Automatically or Add Manually from your profile page.
Take Your Instagram Account Private
Not everyone on Instagram wants to make their snaps available to random strangers looking to gawk at your family and friends. But when you create an Instagram account, you are, by default, signing on to publicly share every photo you post — except if you don’t want to. Just like Facebook requires that you send to a friend request before accessing your private information, Instagram has an option to keep your account private and let you decide who can follow you. From your profile page, tap the gear wheel icon (iOS) or 3-dot icon (Android), and scroll down until you see the control to enable a Private Account. If you choose, you can open a second account for all your public shots.
Add a New Account
Sometimes one Instagram account is not enough. Seeing how much attention your photos are getting, your cat or dog is going to want their own account, too. Or maybe you’re a photo enthusiast who wants only certain images to be public. Whatever the motivation, it’s easy to set up a separate account.
Just go to your profile page and tap the gear wheel icon (iOS) or 3-dot icon at the upper right (Android) and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the pane to add a new account with a separate user name and password. Then, you can easily switch between two open accounts by going to your profile and tapping the user name of the account you want to see.