How Instagram works

Since Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has bought Instagram, everyone is talking about this social network dedicated to photo lovers.

I bet all your friends know it and use it; now you too, driven by curiosity, would really like to understand what it is and how Instagram works.

How do you say? Would you like to start using Instagram, but do not have the faintest idea how to get started?

There’s no problem, I can help you. I know perfectly how Instagram works and I can guide you in using the application step by step.

Follow this guide to the end and you can learn how to use Instagram to make photos and short captivating videos to share on this photo social network. You will see that it will be fun and above all, it will be easy, a breeze.

Are you ready to learn how Instagram works?

Hold your favorite device (Android, iOS or Windows) and take a few minutes to concentrate on reading this guide. Let’s begin!

What is and how Instagram works

Instagram is a photographic social network born in 2010 and now owned by Facebook. Instagram allows you to take photos and make videos, eventually applying filters in real time before sharing them.

All the photos and videos created can then be shared on Instagram and also on other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to be seen by a greater number of users.

The operation of Instagram is quite simple: once you start the application you just have to frame the camera or the desired object with the camera of your smartphone, take the picture, possibly add the filters and publish.

Does this seem easier said than done?

Do not worry, I’m here to explain everything in detail.

Download the Instagram application

The first thing you need to do to understand how Instagram works is to download the application.

Then take your smartphone or tablet, open the default store of your device and type Instagram in the integrated search engine. Alternatively, I can share the link to download the application directly.

  • Instagram – Download the app from Play Store for Android
  • Instagram – Download the app from the App Store for iOS
  • Instagram – Download the app from the Microsoft Store for Windows

All done? Very well! Now start the app by touching its icon, touch the entry Do not have an account?

Sign in at the bottom of the screen and follow all the procedures for signing up. You can choose whether to register via a Facebook account, via your mobile number or by entering an email address.

If you need more details on how to register with Instagram you can possibly consult my guide dedicated to the registration on Instagram. If instead you have registered without problems, proceed with the reading.

Once you’ve registered, Instagram will ask if it can help you find contacts to follow.

You can choose whether to import your contacts from the address book of your Android device, iOS or Windows Phone or from Facebook.This is an optional option, if you do not care, you just have to press the Skip button.

Being a social network, the application will suggest some recommended profiles to follow, to help you stay in touch with other users of Instagram.

Share photos on Instagram

Once you have done all the preliminary steps, you are ready to get to the heart of this guide. Let’s take a closer look at how to use Instagram to share photos and videos. Ready? Let’s begin.

To take a picture on Instagram, press the + symbol located at the bottom center. It will then start the camera of your device and you can normally take a picture.

You can also choose to share a photo already on your phone’s Gallery on Instagram. To do so, after pressing the + symbol, just press the Gallery item at the bottom.

You can also choose to share more than one photo at the same time: just press the Select more items item to share an album containing up to 10 items between photos and videos. If you press Photo, you will return to activate the camera of the device to take a picture normally.

Once you have taken the photo or you have chosen the photo from the library, you just have to choose the filter to apply.

You can swipe left or right across the many available filters and touch the sun symbol to adjust the effect of the selected filter. There is not one right or one wrong, choose the one you like best.

Do not you like any of the filters?

No problem; you can leave the picture as it is by selecting the Normal entry. Also, if you tap Edit, you can edit the base image using some tools: orientation, brightness, contrast, texture, heat, saturation, color, gradient, highlights, shadows and sharpness.

You can also add the vignetting or tilt-shift effect using the same tools.

Done? Great! Now you are ready to share the photo. Touch the Next item.

You will now be able to choose between two options: share a new post or send a direct message. The two items are located in the drop-down menu in the top bar.

If you select the item New Post you will publish the photo as a status update on Instagram. By selecting the Direct Message item, you can instead send the photo privately to the desired user.

In any case, before sharing the photo, you can type the text of the caption.

The field Write a caption, allows you to write a few lines of text as an accompaniment to the photo.

You can also tag people in the photos, looking for them by their username (you find us as Teknologya ), indicate the place where you took the photo ( Add place button ) and select the additional social networks on which you want to share the photo ( Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr ).

When you’re done, press the Share button. After a few instants of upload, the photo will be published on Instagram or sent as a direct message, depending on the option you have selected.

Share videos on Instagram

In addition to photos, on Instagram you can easily share a video. The procedure you need to do is very similar to the one you used to share a photo; I’ll explain it to you in detail.

Press the + button at the bottom and choose to share a video already in your device memory (press the Gallery button ) or to record a video at the moment (press the Video button).

Done? Very well! Now press the Next button located at the top right to choose some settings to apply to the video.

In this case, you can choose to apply one of the available filters (you can see the effect in real time). If the intensity of the filter does not convince you and you would like to adjust it, press twice on the name of the filter you would like to change.

You will have access to a new screen with a cursor. This will allow you to adjust the intensity level of the filter in an extremely simple way.

Among the other options available for editing your video, there is the possibility to add a different frame of the video as a cover image (press the Cover button ).

You can also choose whether to enable or disable the sound in the video by pressing the speaker button.

Also in this case you can choose whether to publish the video on Instagram or send it via direct message, add a caption, a location and possibly share the video on other social networks.

For videos, those supported are Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Take all the time you need to edit the video; when you’re done, just hit the Share button to post the video or the Submit button if you’ve decided to send the video via a direct message.

View photos and interact on Instagram

Ok, now that you’ve learned the basics of Instagram, let’s move on. Instagram is a social network and as such allows you to interact with other users. Press the magnifying glass symbol to access the Explore section.

You will find numerous popular photos and videos. To interact, simply browse through this multimedia content. You can comment, put likes and share everything you like best.

The main tools of interaction are those visible under a photo or video: the symbol of a heart is the like, the symbol of a comic allows you to add a comment to a photo or a video.

If you press the paper plane button you can send the multimedia content you want to an Instagram user, via direct message. The bookmark symbol, on the other hand, allows you to save the photo as a favorite.

You will find it in the Saved Items section, accessible from your user profile (icon of the little man at the bottom right).

You can follow a user through the Follow button located at the top, in the box just above the photo you’re viewing.

You can see photos taken by all the users you follow on the app’s main screen. In the Home section, the one with the symbol of the house, you will find all the photos and videos that have shared the users you have chosen to follow.

Other advanced Instagram tools:

Among the other Instagram tools you can use to share photos and videos in a fun way, there are Stories and Directories.

If you love to show off, you can share status updates with a more eye-catching look that will be visible at the top of the Home screen.

Press the Your Story button to start recording short videos that will tell you moments of your day. The recorded and shared videos remain available only for 24 hours, then disappear from the social network.

The Stories of Instagram are advanced tools through which you can share photos, videos or record a live, draw on photos, apply filters and stickers in real time or make short videos in loop.

As for the Direct, however, these can be done individually or in the company of a friend, taking advantage of a particular mode that will divide the screen into two parts, allowing you to host a follower in your live stream.

Other advanced Instagram tools for sharing photos and videos are Layout ( Android and iOS ),  Boomerang ( Android and iOS ) and Hyperlapse ( iOS ) applications.