Instagram — Everything you need to know!

Get familiar with the queen of all social media apps and start sharing your life through Instagram!

Updated Thursday May 25, 2017: Info has been added about Instagram’s latest update AKA AR face filters!

Instagram is a social media app that allows users to share photos and videos from their lives, add captions, edit filters, tweak settings, engage with others, explore and creep, and so, so much more — you just have to know what you’re doing so you don’t get overwhelmed!

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Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram if you want to be an Insta-star!

Instagram is letting users send links in direct messages now!

Yup, you read that right! Instagram’s latest major update is for it’s Direct messaging feature: users can now send links directly!

On top of that, the app is also adding automatic links to phone numbers and addresses, which is incredibly helpful while conversing with pals over Insta.

The Verge:

Additionally, the update adds support for both landscape and portrait pictures sent through Direct. So, instead of weirdly cropping your pictures, they’ll now show up properly in their intended dimensions.

Instagram has introduced Snapchat-style augmented reality face filters. Here’s everything you need to know!

One of the reasons Snapchat has become so popular over the last couple of years has been because of the app’s AR (or augmented reality) face filters AKA World Lenses.

If you’re ever been swiping through Tinder or scrolling through Facebook and have noticed a photo of a girl with a dog nose, floppy ears, and sometimes a big tongue, that feature is actually from a super popular Snapchat AR filter that blew up last year once the Kardashians got their hooks into it.

Now Instagram has announced that their following the filter hysteria and introducing their very own AR filters to Instagram stories!

Instagram:

Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.

How many filters will there be to choose from?

There are allegedly 8 AR face filter options, but there’s nothing stopping the app from (yet again) copying Snapchat and adding and updating new ones every day/week.

How does it work?

9to5Mac:

Face filters will work with Instagram’s built-in Boomerang feature which creates short loops, and both rewind and hands-free mode work with the new feature. After you capture a photo with a face filter, you can use Instagram’s existing markup features to draw over the image, add stickers, and more.

When will this feature be launched?

Today, apparently!

How can I find it?

There will be a new ‘face effect’ icon that will appear in Instagram’s main camera section.

Any questions?

Are you excited for face filters/World Lenses/Snapchat 2.0 to come to Instagram? Or would you prefer if the app would stop ripping off the original?

Let us know what you think of Instagram’s latest update in the comments below!

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media app that was launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (the app was later bought by Facebook in 2012) that encouraged users to take photos, add a filter, write a caption, and post.

While the original format of Instagram was a lot simpler than the one you see today, the premise still remains the same. Videos shared on Instagram used to be limited to 15 seconds in duration; video posts can be much longer today.

How does it work?

After you set up your Instagram account and set up your profile, you can start by following a few of your favorite celebrities, BFFs, co-workers, etc. You can also see the number of followers you have on your profile.

If you want, you can set your profile to be private, meaning that people need to request to follow you and need you to approve them in order for them to see any of your content. Keep in mind that if your profile is private posts that are hashtagged will not show up on the trending/public page, no matter how many likes you get.

And speaking of likes, they’re what people give you when they double-tap your post – a red heart will appear on the photo, and a like-count at the bottom of the picture will show how much love a certain photo is getting. Subsequently, videos no longer gather visible ‘likes’, instead displaying a view count (although you can still double-tap to like a video).

You can also comment on people’s posts if they’ve left commenting on (you can also turn off comments on posts), share and send a specific post to a friend in a direct message, or tag and save a post so you can come back for it later.

The best advice for Instagram? Follow people you really like and fill your feed with content you love. Don’t be afraid to unfollow someone at the risk of losing a follower if they’re not posting content that blows you away! Instagram can get very overwhelming, and with it’s latest algorithm change, you might not even see everyone you’re following.

Elle Hunt, The Guardian

Controversial changes to the photo-sharing platform that were met with widespread outcry … with users around the world reporting a new algorithm-driven feed. What this means is posts appear not in the sequence they were posted by people you follow from oldest to newest, but in one of Instagram’s own devising. And Instagram – owned by Facebook – works in mysterious ways.

What’s the explore page?

Instagram:

Search & Explore to better tailor it to you. Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like. You may also see video channels, which can include posts from a mixture of hand-picked and automatically sourced accounts based on topics we think you’ll enjoy.

To access the Explore page, just tap on the magnifying glass on the bottom of your screen, or the compass beside the heart if you’re using Instagram on your desktop.

Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are Instagram’s response to Snapchat/Snapchat Stories, which are a series of photos and videos strung together in a content package that disappears after 24 hours.

While some people find this type of posting a bit redundant and silly because it’s only temporary, the trend of 24-hour social media posts has taken off in a big, big way with things like Stories features (although Facebook needs to cool it at this point …)

Instagram:

You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it. To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.

How much does it cost?

Instagram is free as a bee! There aren’t any in-app purchases or upgrades, either!

What kinds of things can I do to my photos/videos?

You can either add a filter to your photo or video and be on your merry way, or if you want to get a bit more in-depth with your photo editing, there are options like:

  • Adjust
  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Structure
  • Warmth
  • Saturation
  • Color
  • Fade
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Vingette
  • Tilt Shift
  • Sharpen

… Just keep in mind these options are only available for editing photos, not editing your videos.

Other options for posting photos include posting multiple pictures in one post, so you’re not flooding news feeds with photo after photo after photo. You can tell a post has more than one photo if there’s a little white box in the upper right corner and dots between the description and photo once you tap on it.

What devices can I use to access my Instagram?

You can use your iPhone or iPad to log in, post, comment, like, and do pretty much everything on Instagram, but you can also access your account from a computer, too!

The only major difference is that you cannot edit and post a photo or a video from a computer – you can only look at pictures, like them, and visit the explore page.

Boomerang? Hyperlapse?

Boomerang and Hyperlapse are two apps developed by Instagram that work in tandem with the original, root app.

Boomerang works by taking a super short, super fast burst of photos and stitching them together into a mini video that plays forward and backward and forward and backward and—well, you get the idea. Think of it as a GIF of sorts, but in video mode. These types of posts are popular amongst the Kardashian-Jenner clan.

Hyperlapse works by creating and sharing smooth, clean, time-lapse videos. “It also has some pretty powerful video stabilization tools to smooth out shaky, handheld shots,” says iMore’s Mikah Sargent.

Where can I download the app?

You can download Instagram right here!

And while you’re at it, check out Boomerang and Hyperlapse, too!

Questions?

Hit the comment section below!

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