What Is Instagram And Should I Have An Instagram Account?

If you’re asking yourself, ‘What is Instagram?’, then you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last eight years! Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites. With 1 billion monthly active users, there is a reason everyone is signing up for an Instagram account.

What Is Instagram?

It’s simple: Instagram is a platform for people to share photos and videos. It’s a simple and creative way to share news and updates with friends or family. Or even strangers.

People share anything on their Instagram account from wedding photos:

View this post on Instagram

Authentic moments by @bradandjen

A post shared by Authentic Love Magazine (@authenticlovemag) on

To pet photos:

To something a little more creative:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Instagram really makes that come to life!

For certain, sharing photos and videos is a much more exciting way to share news or updates with people. I’d take that over a Facebook status any day!

Should You Have An Instagram Account?

Yes – you should have an Instagram account. Even if people don’t follow it, it’s a great way to document your life in photos! With the option to put a caption on your photos, you’ll never forget what you did that day.

Your Instagram doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be a simple collection of your favorite moments.

This mum @mrsrachelfoster documents her kids, a day in the life and sometimes, pack lunches.

instagram account feed

This Instagram user @__sararara__ shares photos from her adventures, simple selfies or snaps of her favorite hobbies.

instagram account feed

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Another idea is to use your Instagram account to share your passions whether that’s cycling, reading, dogs, or plants. Whatever it might be, there’s an Instagram community to support you! @marienovadesign pioneers the plant aesthetic on Instagram.

instagram account feed

With that being said, you should definitely have an Instagram. Sharing photos of the things you love is never a bad idea.

How Do I Make An Instagram Account?

Making an Instagram account is easy. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the app from your smart phone’s app store.
  2. Click ‘sign up’.
  3. Sign up with an email, phone number or your Facebook account.
  4. Create a username and password.
  5. Fill out your profile and click ‘done’.

There you have it! You’re part of the Instagram community.

πŸ’‘ Related Post: How to create and access multiple Instagram accounts

What Do All The Buttons Mean?

The Instagram app layout is very simple to use.

Your Profile

profile button on instagram app

When you look at your profile, the circle on the bottom right, you’ll notice where it says ‘edit profile’.

instagram account edit profile

Click it and add in all your appropriate details to your Instagram account.

  1. Start with a photo. Choose one from Facebook, your phone library or even take one right now!
  2. Choose your name. That can be simply your name or you can add an emoji or a one-word description about you, such as: John Smith – Cyclist.
  3. If you have a website you’d like to promote on your Instagram, that’s the next step. I link to my blog but some people might link it to their online shop, their YouTube channel or nothing at all.
  4. Next is your bio. We all know how hard writing a bio is so keep it simple until you think of something really awesome. Simply state a few things about you: country you live in, age, favorite things to do and what your Instagram account might consist of.
  5. Click done and move on.

You can always come back to edit your bio.

The Home Button

The first button on the bottom of the Instagram app is the ‘Home’ button. This is where pictures from the people you follow will appear. You can scroll down and interact with them from this page, whether that’s liking, a commenting on or saving their photo.

instagram home button

If you don’t follow anyone, Instagram will suggest some people based on your Facebook friends, phone book or email contacts.

Once you follow some people, their story will appear at the top of the Home page. A story is a set of pictures of videos from the last 24 hours of that person’s life. It can be really exciting, or really annoying. You decide!

Search

Next along the bottom is the search button. From here, you can simply search for someone.

search button on instagram

Also, Instagram will give you recommended accounts based on the ones you already follow. You can click on any of those photos, interact with them or visit the profile to follow a new Instagram account!

In addition, Instagram gives you topics to choose from when looking at pictures. Underneath the search bar, you’ll see different categories such as style, travel, decor, music, et cetera. If you’re looking for specifically a new nature account to follow, this is how you’ll find it.

Instagram makes it really easy to find and follow people you will like.

When searching, you can also search hashtags. For example, if you want to follow a recipe account, type in the search bar ‘recipe’ and click tag. Instagram will give you a list of possible hashtags people use when sharing recipes. Click any and you’ll find millions of pictures of food. In the captions, people will share the recipe or a link to the recipe.

Love Heart

love heart on instagram app

You’ll see the simple little love heart along the bottom, too. This is where you will find notifications from people who have liked your photos, commented on them or followed your account.

Instagram will also give you more suggestions of who to follow here.

If you swipe right, you can see what the people you’re following are up to. This is a good way to find more Instagram accounts to follow. You can see who your favorite people are interacting with!

Finally, The Upload Button

how to upload instagram pictures

On the bottom middle, there is a box with a plus sign in it. This is where you can upload photos to your Instagram account. You can choose from ‘All Photos’ in your phone or a specific album.

Once you’ve chosen the photo, use the grey icons to make a collage or change the size.

After you’ve decided that, click ‘next’ and add a filter if you want. If you scroll all the way to the end and click ‘manage’, there will be more to choose from. Click edit if you want to adjust things like exposure, temperature or color.

Click ‘next’ again and add your caption. You can tag people in the photo, add location and share it through Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

Once your photo is ready, click ‘share’ and be ready for those love heart notifications to roll in.

Time To Hashtag

Once your photo is uploaded, this is when I like to hashtag.

Putting the hashtags in the caption can look messy so I prefer to leave them in the comments. Hashtagging is easy:

  1. First, what’s in your photo? For example, let’s imagine it’s a picture of the ocean.
  2. Type in #ocean and Instagram will suggest a bunch of appropriate hashtags such as #oceaneyes, #oceanside, and #oceanconservation.
  3. Think about it more abstract now. Try #nature and find hashtags such as #naturelovers, #nature_shots, and #natureaddict.
  4. Now, where was the photo taken? If it’s a specific beach, type that in, too.
  5. Choose up to 30 hashtags and then post the comment. Now your photo will appear when people search those hashtags.

Why Should I Use Instagram?

Besides the reasons already discussed, there are two more awesome reasons you should use Instagram.

1. Keep Up To Date With The World

It’s called media for a reason. It’s a form of communication between you and the outside world. If you’re passionate about certain movements such as feminism, veganism, black lives matter – there are so many Instagram accounts that can keep you updated.

Again, search the hashtags and find them on Instagram. Look at who they follow and find new accounts who talk out about these topics.

Instagram is also a great platform for keeping up to date with your favourite celebrities. Most celebrities have accounts, followed by millions of people. Their Instagram account shows glimpses into their personal life and reminds us that they are just normal people like us.

For example, new movie star @lanacondor shares fun snaps with her friends and favorite foods.

With the 24 hour stories available, you’ll never miss a moment of your icons’ lives! Just yesterday, Lana Condor posted videos being stuck in traffic. Exciting times!

2. Make Money From Your Instagram Account

The second reason is that Instagram is a great platform to make some extra cash. Here’s how people are doing it:

  1. Use Instagram to promote your products. Maybe you just launched an Etsy shop or a boutique in your hometown. Instagram is a fun, simple and creative way to attract people to your store and interact with your customers on a daily basis.
  2. Build up your audience and become an influencer. You only need a couple of thousands of followers for brands to reach out to you and ask you to promote. Whether it’s on a gifted or paid basis, brands will give you products for you to photograph and share on your Instagram account.

For example, @adoringstories teamed up with @mapiful to promote their unique maps. She only has 3,650 followers but they give her opportunities like this! The more followers you have, the more money you can ask from brands. So, build up that audience and interact with your followers. Before you know it, Instagram could be a part-time job!

Instagram Is For You

In conclusion, it’s time you make an Instagram account. It will boost your creativity, give you a platform for your passions and in the future, it might even be a place where you can make a little extra cash. You can’t go wrong with any of that!

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By Beth McCallum

I'm Beth, a Scottish writer and bookworm. I'm currently agent hunting for my debut novel while running a candle business from my home. I obsess over dogs, Hamilton, chai lattes and recently, Harry Potter. I know, I'm decades late.

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