What is Instagram and how does it work? Plus 29 top tips and tricks

What is Instagram and how does it work
What is Instagram and how does it work

What is Instagram and how does it work? Plus 29 top tips and tricks

Instagram has been round for years and it is massively standard, but not everybody is totally accustomed to the free photo app and how it can shortly remodel your mediocre selfies into beautiful glamour shots.

OK, that could be a little bit of an exaggeration, but most Instagram users will admit that Instagram’s filters modified their lives. You are assured to seek out at the very least one that may make your cell phone snap appear like a murals.

Earlier than you dive in and fiddle with all of the choices, you may have to know the way the app works. With that in thoughts, we have laid out every little thing you might want to learn about Instagram, together with tips and tricks and even descriptions for every filter.

What is Instagram?

What is Instagram
What is Instagram

Instagram is a video and photo-sharing social network. It launched in 2010 as a cellular system app and was acquired by Fb two years later. It primarily stood out as a result of it confined photos to a sq. form and options filters. It has developed because it initially launched although. users will not be solely not restricted to sq. photos but in addition video clips, which have been accessible since 2013, have had the cap lifted from 15-seconds to 60-seconds. There’s additionally a Stories feature and standalone Instagram-branded apps now accessible.

How does Instagram work?

Sign up

Instagram was initially meant for cellular gadgets. You need to, therefore, Download the iPhone or Android app to register an Instagram account. When you Download the app, you’ll be able to simply login by way of Fb. After signing up, you’ll be able to change your profile image and edit your data, which features a temporary 150-character abstract and the power to hyperlink an internet site.

All Instagram accounts are public by default but may be made non-public.


Each time you open and cargo Instagram, you’ll mechanically be delivered to your data feed, which is full of photos and Videos from folks you selected to follow on Instagram. Alongside the underside of all of the app is a menu bar, whereas the highest proper (on iOS) has your inbox, which is the place direct messages may be disHideed, plus a fast hyperlink to IGTV, Instagram’s standalone service for longer-form Videos.

As for the menu bar on the backside, it has 5 tabs: Dwelling, Search/DisHidey, camera/Add, Exercise, and Profile.

  • Home takes you to the news feed.
  • Search/Discovery is for finding people and discovering trending photos or other accounts you might be interested in.
  • Camera/Upload is where you’ll go to post photos and videos (as well as edit them).
  • Activity is like a notification center.
  • Profile is where you go to see your profile, edit your profile, and play with settings (found in the upper right-hand corner). Settings has options for following Facebook friends, privatising your account, seeing posts you’ve liked and more.


There are three main methods of engaging with different users on Instagram: you’ll be able to double-tap on their photos or Videos to love them; you’ll be able to press the chat-bubble icon beneath their photos to depart a remark, and you may direct message them. (To direct message somebody, Tap the arrow icon next to the chat bubble icon.) You may also tag folks in photos, reply to comments with tags, and add and use hashtags across Instagram.


To post a photo or video, go to the camera tab and select between Gallery (or Library), Photograph, or Video on the backside. Selecting Gallery will will let you add out of your camera roll, whereas Photograph and Video will Enable you to take a shot or report instantly from the Instagram app.

When snapping a photo, you will notice two icons above the main round capture button. The icon on the left switches between the entrance and rear camera, whereas the icon on the best activates flash. You may also Tap on the photo being captured to give attentidirectly to a selected level.

When you proceed with a photo or video, you may see a filter tray pop up, in which you’ll be able to apply an impact. Double-tap the impact to entry a slider that’ll Enable you to enhance or lower the depth of the filter. There’s a small sq. icon next to the slider too which is able to add a white border round your photo. Every filter is completely different.

Under the filter tray are two choices: Filter and Edit. Flicking to Edit will will let you fine-tune your photo, from adjusting brightness and distinctidirectly to altering the construction, saturation, color, and fade, amongst different choices. You will additionally be capable of alter a particular impact referred to as Lux by tapping the centralised icon above the photo you are enhancing.

After you are done enhancing, Tap the next button on the top-right of the Filters display screen.


Upon hitting next on the top-right of the Filters display screen, you’re going to get to a display screen that’ll Enable you to share your photo or video to both all followers or a direct follower by toggling between the 2 choices on the top of your display screen. This display screen is the place you’ll be able to add captions, tag folks, and tag your location, in additidirectly to select if you wish to share your post to another social media shops.

Instagram integrates with Fb, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr, which means you’ll share across many of the standard social networks by simply toggling every of them on or off.


Instagram Stories is just like Snapchat’s Stories feature.

This is the deal: With Snapchat Stories, you’ll be able to broadcast a number of snaps (aka Videos and photos) taken all through the day, full with overlays of doodles and stickers and filters and masks. This reel of snaps will disappear after 24 hours, thus sustaining Snapchat’s ephemeral vibe. If you wish to repopulate your story reel, simply take extra Videos and photos after which broadcast them.

Now, here is the place Instagram is available in…

Instagram describes its Stories feature as one thing that permits you to “share all of the moments of your day, not simply those you need to hold on your profile”. The feature mainly Enables you to share a number of photos and Videos, and so they seem collectively in a “slideshow layout”, which suggests a reel, like Snapchat. And, in fact, these photos and Videos will disappear.

You may also view different folks’s Stories – simply search for their newest updates on the top of your data feed on the Dwelling Web page or beneath the search discipline on the Search/DisHidey display screen. Instagram’s Assist Middle has a number of step-by-step guides that specify every little thing you might want to learn about disHideing and posting Stories. Tech by Android additionally has an explainer feature here.

Instagram filters explained

Earlier than we move directly to the next part, we thought we should always go over a few of the extra standard Instagram filters (together with the separate Lux impact) and what they do to your photos and Videos:

  • Normal – No filter applied.
  • Clarendon – Makes shadows deeper and highlights brighter.
  • Gingham – Gives images a vintage look, adding a yellowish tone.
  • Moon – Another vintage look adder but in black and white.
  • Lark – Desaturates reds and increases blues and greens.
  • Reyes – Adds a dusty, vintage look.
  • Juno – Tints cool tones green, amps up warm tones, makes whites glow.
  • Slumber – Desaturates the image, adds a haze, emphasis on blacks and blues.
  • Crema – Adds a creamy look that both warms and cools the image.
  • Ludwig – Slight desaturation that also enhances light.
  • Aden – Adds a blue/green natural look.
  • Perpetua – Adds a pastel look.
  • Amaro – Adds light to an image, with the focus on the center.
  • Mayfair – Adds a warm pink tone, subtle vignetting, brightens at the center.
  • Rise – Adds a glow to the image.
  • Hudson – Adds an “icy” illusion, heightened shadows, cool tint, dodged center.
  • Valencia – Fades the image, increases exposure, warms the colors.
  • X-Pro II – Increases colour with a golden tint, high contrast, slight vignette.
  • Sierra – Adds a faded, softer look.
  • Willow – Adds a monochromatic look, subtle purple tones, translucent white border.
  • Lo-Fi – Enriches color, adds strong shadows, warms the temperature.
  • Earlybird – Gives an older look with a sepia tint and warm temperature.
  • Brannan – Increases contrast and exposure and adds a metallic tint.
  • Inkwell – Goes straight to black and white.
  • Hefe – High contrast and saturation, similar to Lo-Fi.
  • Nashville – Warms temp, lowers contrast, increases exposure, adds pink.
  • Sutro – Burns edges, increases highlights/shadows, focus on purple and brown.
  • Toaster – Ages the image by “burning” the center and adds a dramatic vignette.
  • Walden – Increases exposure and adds a yellow tint.
  • 1977 – Increases exposure, adds a red tint and faded look.
  • Kelvin – Increases saturation and temperature to give it a radiant glow.
  • Stinson – Lightens image and washes out colour a little.
  • Vesper – Adds a yellowy tint for a vintage feel, while also smoothing out skin tones.
  • Maven – Adds a yellow tint, darkens the image and deepens shadows.
  • Ginza – Brightens images and adds a warm glow.
  • Skyline – Adds punch to colours and brightens.
  • Dogpatch – Deepens contrast and washes out light colours.
  • Brooklyn – Brightens images and washes out light colours.
  • Helena – Adds an orange and teal tone to images.
  • Ashby – Adds golden glow and subtle vintage look without deepening shadows.
  • Charmes – Adds a red tint to warm up colours while also increasing contrast.
  • Lux – Transforms photos that are underexposed or lack contrast.

Instagram tips and tricks

Instagram tips and tricks
Instagram tips and tricks

Now that we have lined the fundamentals of how Instagram works, we’ll get into some tips and tricks:

Account switching

It is attainable to modify between a number of accounts on Instagram. That is particularly helpful for these of you who run a private account, together with a enterprise account. As a substitute of getting to sign off and log in to every account each time you need to browse or post new content material, which you used to need to do, now you can change between 5 accounts with a number of easy Taps.

So as to add one other Instagram account, go to your Profile > Settings > scroll all the way down to Add Account. Enter the username and password of the account Trying so as to add and that is it. To then change between accounts, Tap your username on the top of your profile and select the account you need to change to.

Go directly to camera roll

If you wish to save time and get straight to importing a photo whenever you launch Instagram, simply maintain down the camera tab on the menu bar. From there, the camera roll ought to instantly open and let you choose a photo.

Edit captions

Gone are the times of typos and feeling embarrassed while you by chance post a photo with “your” within the caption while you literally meant to write down “you are”. Instagram launched an replace that enabled enhancing captions.

Go to the post, then Tap the three-dot icon within the top proper nook, and choose Edit. You will then be capable of edit the caption. So far as we will inform, folks will not see how (and even what number of occasions) you have edited the caption.

Save drafts of photos

This new feature is a much-welcomed change as a result of we have all been in that state of affairs the place you spend 10 minutes enhancing the heck out of a photo, solely to ditch the work altogether when one thing quick comes up that wants your consideration. If you happen to had been determined or had the time, you possibly can use a workaround, such as screenshotting. Nicely, all that is a factor of the previous as a result of Instagram now prompts you to both save or discard your draft earlier than you even go away the enhancing display screen.

You possibly can learn extra about how the brand new feature works here.

Reply to comments

You possibly can reply to a remark with out having to enter the individual’s deal with or tagging the individual. As a substitute, choose the remark, then swipe left, and click on the gray arrow. The individual’s deal with will then seem within the remark field.

Delete your comments

Whereas replying to a remark, you would possibly’ve additionally seen the trash icon. It permits you to delete a remark. Go to the photo, click on the remark icon, and swipe left on the remark to see and Tap the trash can.

Moderate comments

If you happen to use Instagram’s key phrase moderation tool, you and your followers will not be capable of see comments (by yourself posts) that comprise language you have deemed (or Instagram has deemed) offensive or inappropriate.

To moderate comments on your Instagram posts, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram cellular app.
  2. Tap the gear icon on your profile.
  3. Tap comments. You’ll then see a display screen with a new comments tool. It permits you to checklist phrases you contemplate offensive or inappropriate. comments with these phrases might be hidden out of your posts. You possibly can select your individual checklist of phrases or use default phrases Instagram has supplied.
  4. Enable the Hide Inappropriate comments possibility to Hide key phrases usually reported as inappropriate.
  5. Alternatively, underneath the Customized Key phrases part, manually enter phrases you contemplate offensive or inappropriate.

Turn off comments

You possibly can Turn off commenting to stop folks from commenting on a person post. Doing so hides all of the comments which might be presently on your post, and other people will not see the choice to remark beneath your post. If you happen to re-enable commenting, all earlier comments might be restored and other people will be capable of remark once more. To show disable or Enable commenting for a post:

  • Tap the three-dot button above your post
  • Choose Turn Off Commenting or Turn On Commenting

To show off commenting for a post earlier than you share it, tape Turn Off Commenting (underneath Superior Settings) on the display screen the place you add a caption or locatidirectly to your post.

Pinch to zoom

Make a pinching gesture together with your pointer finger and thumb anyplace on a photo or video that you just’d wish to see in nearer element, after which open your fingers (un-pinch, mainly) whereas gliding across your system’s touchscreen. That part of the media will concurrently zoom-in as you open your fingers. It is fairly straightforward to determine.

Remove a tagged photo

If need to Remove a photo underneath your tagged folder (furthest proper possibility slightly below your profile description), you’ll be able to both conceal the photo out of your profile or Remove the tagged photo altogether.

Go to your Instagram profile, then Tap the tagged folder, and choose a photo you’d wish to Remove. From there, Tap the button within the top proper with the three dots, choose Photograph Choices, adopted by Hide from My Profile.

That’ll conceal the photo. To fully Remove your self from being tagged within the photo on Instagram, Tap Extra Choices, after which choose Remove Me from Photograph. Simples.

Manage filters

If you happen to ever need to conceal some filters to make it simpler so that you can determine between a particular few relatively than the whole thing, you’ll be able to slide to the top of the filter tray, after which Tap Manage filters to Hide or present sure ones.

Adjust cellular data settings

Instagram Videos are designed to play mechanically on your feed, which may be taxing on your data when not close to a hotspot, but you’ll be able to change your cellular data settings so Videos load slower and thus much less data is consumed.

Simply go to your profile, Tap the Settings icon, scroll all the way down to cellular data Use and toggle on Use Much less data.

Save originals

Instagram uploads photos to its network at 612 x 612 pixels in measurement. If you wish to entry a better decision model (like for importing to your web site), it can save you the unique photos to your system.

Go to your profile, then Tap the Settings icon, and scroll all the way down to Save Authentic photos. From there, toggle on the choice.

Embed your photos on the web

To get the embed code to share an Instagram photo on the web, you first have to seek out the post by way of Instagram on the web, then click on the three dots icon within the backside nook, and select Embed. You possibly can then copy the code.

Hide Instagram adverts

Instagram adverts are outlined by the “Sponsored” label within the top nook, but you do not have to scroll by annoying ones on your data feed. Click on on the three-dot icon on the backside of the advert to both conceal it or present tips.

Change the layout of photos

Many individuals like to present their photos white borders or compile them into collages earlier than posting to Instagram. Though a number of third-party apps Enable you to do that earlier than posting, Instagram has its app referred to as Structure.

Structure not solely permits you to simply mix a number of photos into a single photo, but in addition create one-of-a-kind layouts by remixing your photos. When importing out of your Gallery, you may see the Structure app icon within the far proper of the underside of the photo. Tap it and you may proceed Selecting photos, adopted by the layout you need. You possibly can learn extra about it here.

Create hyperlapses

To start with: Time-lapse or time-lapse photos is a cinematography approach whereby frequency at which movie frames are captured (the body price) is far decrease than that used to view the sequence.

Hyperlapse is an iOS-only app from Instagram that permits you to create time lapses out of your telephone. It additionally has built-in instruments for smoothing out shaking video, which means you possibly can use it to Instagram footage taken with a Go Professional.

Create a Boomerang

Instagram additionally has one other app referred to as Boomerang that permits you to create and share mini Videos. “It is not a photo. It is not a gif. It is a Boomerang.”

It permits you to capture moments and replay them, such as a pal blowing out birthday candles. Just like the Structure app, you may disHide fast entry to Boomerang on the backside of the photo you’re planning to add.

Post to your Story

It has been a few years since Instagram launched this feature, and it has literally taken off, including a number of instruments and choices over time so as to get creative together with your storytelling. We have assembled the highest Stories tips and tricks we may disHide that can assist you grasp Instagram Stories. but here is fast abstract so as to get began utilizing Stories now:

To share a photo or video to your story, follow these steps:

  • Tap the camera icon or swipe proper from anyplace.
  • Tap the capture buttdirectly to take a photo, or Tap and maintain to report a video.
  • Alternatively, select a photo out of your telephone’s library or gallery.
  • Tap the pencil, letters, or stickers icdirectly to attract or add textual content or a sticker.
  • To Remove textual content or a sticker, drag and drop it on the trash icon.
  • If you’re able to share, Tap Your Story within the backside left.


IGTV is Instagram’s devoted app for watching Videos from the folks you follow on Instagram. Videos are full display screen and vertical (not panorama) and aren’t restricted to at least one minute. As a substitute, every video may be as much as an hour-long. With IGTV, the creators are the channels. If you follow a creator on Instagram, their channel will present up so that you can watch. And anybody is usually a creator – even you.

Simply Download and open the IGTV app for iOS or Android. From the second you log in, it is designed to start out enjoying video. You received’t have to look to start out watching content material. You will note video from folks you already follow on Instagram and others you would possibly like based mostly on your pursuits. You may also watch IGTV from the main Instagram app. Simply open the app and Tap the TV icon within the nook of the feed.

Go here to learn extra about IGTV.

Start an Instagram Thread

Fb-owned Instagram has launched a new standalone app so that you can Download and take a look at instantly.

Referred to as Threads, it is truly a messaging app, which Fb mentioned is for use by your closest buddies for sharing textual content, photos, and Videos. It is a companidirectly to Instagram and therefore falls underneath the Instagram umbrella.

So, you will not see Fb branding anyplace on this app. This is the way it works.

Send a voice message

You possibly can Send voice messages utilizing Instagram Direct. To see messages you have despatched or Downloaded with Instagram Direct, Tap the arrow within the top proper of feed. From there, you’ll be able to Manage all of your messages.

  • Open a dialog.
  • Tap and maintain the mic and start recording your message.
  • Launch your finger while you’re done recording. It will Send your recording.
  • To cancel your message, proceed holding the mic and move your finger to the trash.

Video chat

Video chat in a part of Instagram Direct, Instagram’s direct messaging tool. With Video chat, you’ll be able to name one individual or a gaggle in real-time. It really works with buddies who’re already on Instagram for iOS or Android and would not require a telephone quantity. This is the way it works.

  1. Tap the message arrow icon within the top proper of Feed.
  2. Tap a username or group title to open the dialog.
  3. You may also Start a new dialog by tapping the + icon within the top proper and Selecting folks.
  4. Tap the video icon within the top proper. The individual or group you name will Download a notification.

Superzoom it

Instagram has a new creative tool: Superzoom.

The app’s workforce is definitely describing Superzoom as a new “camera layout”. Both method, with Superzoom, you’ll be able to report a humorous video with sound results. The feature truly sits next to a different creative tool, Boomerang, which you’ll be able to learn all about from here. In contrast to Boomerang, although, Superzoom is not a GIF-like impact; it is a dramatic close-up.

  1. If you open the camera, you’ll see “Superzoom” next to “Boomerang” underneath the report button.
  2. Tap Superzoom, then Tap anyplace on the display screen to zoom.
  3. Tap the circle on the backside to report.
  4. You can also make a Superzoom of your self, an animal, or an object.

Enable dark mode

If you happen to already use iOS 13 and have dark mode turned on on the system stage, the Instagram app will auto-adjust to dark mode.

  1. Be sure you’re working iOS 13 on your iPhone. DisHide ways to get it here.
  2. Open Settings on your system, then go to Show and Brightness and Tap dark.
  3. Set up the Instagram app (or replace it to the most recent model) on your system and open it.
  4. Instagram will, by default, mechanically reply to your system’s system setting.

Store on Instagram

Instagram has finally transformed into a one-stop-shop, literally.

With a new feature, referred to as Instagram Checkout, now you can purchase merchandise from retailers with out ever leaving the Instagram app. So, while you disHide a product you need, you’ll be able to try and get it delivered to your own home with just some Taps.

When seeing a product in a supported model’s post, you’ll be able to Tap it to see pricing data. Additionally, you will see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product web page. Tap the buttdirectly to pick out from numerous customized choices, such as measurement or colour, then you definately’ll proceed to fee with out leaving Instagram. You’ll solely have to enter your title, electronic mail, and billing and delivery data the main time you checkout.

To checkout on Instagram:

  1. Tap any post with a Procuring bag icon.
  2. Tap once more to disclose the merchandise title and value.
  3. Tap any price ticket to see product particulars and if Instagram checkout is on the market.
  4. Choose the choices for the product you need to purchase.
  5. Tap Checkout on Instagram.
  6. If it is your first time trying out on Instagram, enter your contact data, supply data, and your card or PayPal data.
  7. Evaluation your order particulars, after which Tap Place Order.

Archive your old photos

Keep in mind while you first began utilizing Instagram?

You most likely liked to mess around with a number of filters, possibly add a border, then sprinkle in a vignette impact, and top the entire thing off with a dozen hashtags earlier than pushing out your photo for all to see. Now, 5 years later, you assume that creation is something but fairly. If you happen to’re something like us, you remorse these old ‘grams. But it surely’s not such as you need to completely delete them. So, what are you going to do?

Nicely, Instagram has finally launched a easy resolution for us all: Archive. It primarily permits you to conceal old photos. Nevertheless, archived posts will retain their likes and comments out of your followers. And, in case you change your thoughts, you’ll be able to later make it present up in its unique spot.

  1. To archive a post you have shared, Tap the “…” icon on the top of the post and select “Archive.”
  2. Tap the Archive icon within the top proper nook of your profile to view all of your archived photos.

Use Instagram.com

Previously couple of years, Instagram has beefed up its on-line counterpart at www.instagram.com. You possibly can log in to your account, view your profile, alter many settings additionally disHideed within the Instagram cellular apps, view your notifications, unHide folks and different accounts that could be fascinating to you, and seek for issues by names and hashtags.

Obtaon your Instagram data

Instagram has a new tool so you’ll be able to obtaon your data. It is in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in additidirectly to to adjust to the brand new European data privateness guidelines, but it’s solely accessible on the web for now. It must be accessible to all iOS and Android users.

  1. Log in to Instagram.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Go to Privateness and Safety.
  4. Scroll all the way down to data Download.
  5. Choose Request Download.
  6. Post your electronic mail Manage.