How To Use Instagram Like A Pro In 5 Minutes!

Instagram works off different premises simultaneously. -- that's why you need to know how to use Instagram. Here's a getting started guide to fill you in on everything that the platform has to offer.

A total of 1.4 BILLION people on Instagram? There’s got to be something about this app if it’s crunching this amount of user numbers!

Instagram introduced itself into the world of social media applications in 2010, and since its reigns as the 7th most visited website in the world. Primarily established as a photo-sharing app, Instagram’s evolution over the past 12 years has simultaneously affected social media trends and usage and continues to introduce more.

“So, it’s just for photos?”

Instagram has rightfully become the second most downloaded social media application. When we talk about Instagram’s evolution, we mean progressing from photo sharing to videos, IGTV, and sharing Stories and now Reels.

Instagram and its gallery-like user interface are digitally functioning precisely like one to display visual content. Photos, videos, fashion, food, art- you name it! People can’t stop but help pay the art a visit and keep posting.

“That’s a lot of content mediums!”

You bet. There’s a reason why Gen Z has benchmarked Instagram as their favorite social media application! But don’t be discouraged. You don’t have to be a 2000s baby to use Instagram. Instagram’s model caters to a phenomenal global audience of different ages.

If you are new to the hype and have just joined the Instagram bandwagon, this guide is your insight into how to use Instagram according to your preferences- because there’s something in it for everyone!

Let’s dive in!

How Instagram Works

“Isn’t it just another social media platform?”

Yeah, so was Orkut- and that died pretty fast! So, being another social media platform with overwhelming numbers like Instagram’s means it is not JUST another platform.

Although it shares the same criteria- and for category purposes, yes, it is a social media platform. Its usage primarily revolves around sharing your life with your friends and family in the metaverse- except the dynamics are different.

“That sounds like Facebook.”

We’re not taking anything away from Facebook as the OG in social media platforms because it’s still KING. However, the complexities around Facebook are something you escape from when using Instagram.

With just the convenience of your cellphone, you’re able to have total control over how to creatively share your life with other people on the app.

As mentioned before, photos or videos are it- and you’ll be using those to use Instagram effectively

Instagram Interface 101

Instagram’s interface is relatively user-friendly- everything is smartly packed into a vertical display with its essential functions just a tap away.

On your home screen, you’ll find your Instagram Feed- which is posts from accounts you’re following. You can quickly scroll down to skim through their shares and double-tap them to ‘Like’!

On the top right, you’ll find your messages and chat replies- which functions similar to the messenger app where anyone who is trying to get in touch privately will have their chat show up. You’ll also find your activity icon shaped like a heart next to it, as well as a plus sign that is your direct tap to share your preferred content type.

Right below are colored rings of your followed accounts with their Stories- a very convenient feature that helps you tap through the updates accounts are making in case you missed out on someone’s Outfit of the Day update- or if you’re stalking someone: to see where they are currently hanging!

Now we get why 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily!

The lower vertical comprises your other Tap Away options to use Instagram- where you can press the Home icon to refresh or go to your main Feed page.

The Search icon guides you to the Explore page that helps you engage and browse global content that you’re not following.

With the middle Reels icon, you can immediately start enjoying Instagram’s latest content option- Reels. Reels are close to what TikTok videos are all about- A fun medium to share videos about 1 minute long about anything and everything. Beware, the feature is super addictive, and you’ll be caught scrolling down watching videos for quite a while- don’t leave anything on the stove while you’re at it!

The Shopping icon is Instagram’s initiative to let businesses open their products for sale right on the app. When we refer to Instagram as more than JUST a social media app, we also talk about its expansion as an E-marketing website building brands and businesses!

Lastly, you’ll find your profile icon on the extreme right of the lower vertical, which taps you to YOUR profile page, where your art gallery-esque display of content shows up, along with your Instagram bio, links, and Stories Highlights. This is what your profile appears as to other people.

“Okay, pretty basic.”

Very basic- but manageable. Instagram’s user-friendly interface contributes to its excessive usage, and that’s why adult Instagram users are on the app nearly 30 minutes per day

If the app is open right in front of you – play around with some tapping, and you’ll get the hang of where the app icons are taking you!

How To Make Instagram Work For You?

Like what you’re seeing?

“Yeah, but I don’t see if I’ll be using all it has to offer.”

And that’s totally fine! We doubt you’re using Marketplace on Facebook, either.

Just because Instagram is equipped with many features, it doesn’t mean that you should be compelled to use it all. Instagram’s model suits users of all kinds.

You can simply post to your page if you enjoy sharing photos with thoughtful captions.

If you enjoy video-based content, then Reels are your power tool.

If you’re someone who likes to engage through talking, then share Stories (that go up to 15 seconds per Story).

The key is to know how to exactly use each feature on Instagram, and these tips below cater to Instagram’s 2 most used features.

What's The Big Deal About Instagram Feed?

Feed posts could be Photos or Videos, and they show up on your profile grid and are available on people’s Feed if recently posted.

Posts are pretty easy to maneuver around- you select a photo, slap a filter on it, edit within the app and post it. But, if you want to use Instagram to maximum potential, then try:

1. HASHTAGS:

With hashtags, you’re filtering your content specific to a category, so when those hashtags are searched, your content can show up!

It’s easy for posts to get lost in the mix of all that content since about 1,074 photos are uploaded on Instagram every second.

Hashtags allow for content to separate itself from the mass shares- so if you’re sharing a photo of the sky that you really like, try adding #sky to the caption so people explicitly searching for pictures of the sky get to see your work of art!

Some popular hashtags generate good reach- i.e., if you’re trying to make your content viral. Some of the most popular hashtags are:

• #love (1.835B)

• #instagood (1.150B)

• #fashion (812.7M)

• #photooftheday (797.3M)

• #beautiful (661.0M)

2. CAPTIONS:

Don’t leave your video or photos hanging. Like any artist would give your creation some backstory for viewers to understand. Captions are a feature that enables users to practice and execute wordplay that challenges their creativity.

Quotes are always a popular option- Try adding relevant quotes to your posts for an impactful and powerful perspective.

Emojis. Play with emojis to get people to decipher the correlation between the photo or video and the caption!

3. TAGS

Tag people in! If you’re sharing posts with people in it, best to tag their accounts so they can reshare to their accounts easily, and viewers can fully engage with whatever you’re posting about.

Add location tags- we all want to know where you’re going! If you’re sharing landscapes and travel-related content, tagging locations is also an efficient way to filter your content relevant to that location!

Posts with a Location Get 79% more engagement!

The Basics of Instagram Stories

A feature that gives you the BTS goods for all your favorite content creators, celebrities, and businesses, Instagram Stories is the multi-seconded app feature that’s showing you all that is happening backstage!

Within a few seconds, audiences get to see where you are, what you’re doing, and enjoy the experience you’re having through a video or a photo.

About 86.6% of Instagram users post Stories on their pages, giving us all the backstage insight into their lives and work.

You get the hype, and you’re on board. But for new users, getting the hang of Instagram Stories and all its unique features may take a bit to grasp. When you’ve got so many features packed into one, it’s better to know how each one works to get you to create your desired Story!

1. To access Instagram Stories, swipe left from your homepage to open the Instagram Camera.

2. Once there, you can choose to record or take a photograph as the base of your Story. You can also select pre-recorded content from your phone and upload that to Stories as well.

3. If you’re going to create something new, you’ve got a handful of options in the Instagram Camera app to help you start:

• TEXT: You type onto a solid color or a photograph. This feature is meant for announcements, information distribution, and anything text-based, in all fairness.

• BOOMERANG:  A few-seconded video loop that plays forwards and backward- Fun for adding a slight motion to your Stories!

• LAYOUT: A collage maker that lets you layout your photos in sets.

• PHOTOBOOTH: Takes 4 continuous shots that are then stitched together to create one Story- similar to how regular photo booths work!

• SUPERZOOM: A video zoom feature that adds a dramatic edge to your videos- Pretty fun if paired with entertaining audios!

• MULTI-CAPTURE: A story feature with photos taken in succession stitched together.

• LEVEL: A tool that displays a leveling grid on the screen to help users take balanced photographs- great for landscapes and orientation in general!

With these in-camera features, record away so you can jump onto more features after you have your content ready!

4. Stickers. Filters. Text. GIFs. Music. Quizzes. YOU NAME IT! To make your Story as engaging and fun as possible, Instagram gives you plenty of options to customize your Stories as you won’t- get crazy with creativity!

You can even tag locations, other accounts, and hashtags within the Stories.

Once you’re done, you can add the Story to your account, a circle of Close Friends, or send it as a message to a follower!

Conclusion

Got the hang of it? No? That’s alright. The good thing about Instagram is that there are so many! Like any other social media app, using Instagram comes with practicing and understanding what features work for you.

By starting with feed posts and Stories, we guarantee that you’d be using Instagram as a starter, better than people who’ve been on the app for ages following the aforementioned tips and tricks!

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