If you've not ventured into the Instagram world of hashtags or filters yet, check out our guide on how to use Instagram.

If you’re not one of the 800 million Instagram users and don’t know where to start with the minefield of filters, stories and hashtags – we’re here to help with a run down on how to use Instagram.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo and video sharing app that lets you edit posts and apply filters before sharing them either publicly or privately. You can also share your posts directly to other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, through the app.

A newer feature is Instagram stories which you can use to post photos and/or videos that can be viewed by your followers for 24 hours – more on this later.

How to use Instagram

First things first, download the Instagram app from either the Google Play Store, App store or if you’re using a Windows phone, the Windows Phone Store. Then set up your account using either your email address, phone number or your Facebook account.

You can also link your account to any other social media networks you’re part of and use them to follow people you know. You can also find people, pages or hashtags to follow by tapping the magnifying glass.

To get you started, a couple of the most followed celeb accounts last year were Selena Gomez (@selenagomez), Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) and Beyoncé (@beyonce). If celebs aren’t your thing then @itsdougthepug, @juniperfoxx and @realgrumpycat were also pretty popular. Don’t forget to follow us too – @ThreeUK

How to post on Instagram

To upload a photo or video, tap the + icon at the bottom of your screen. You can upload a photo or video from your camera roll or take one using the camera function.

You don’t need to be a pro photographer to take the perfect photo but the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus or the iPhone X can give you a head start with their amazing cameras.

Once you’ve got the perfect shot, tap ‘next’ to edit it. We’d recommend using a filter to make it truly insta-worthy! Our favourites are Clarendon, Gingham or Juno.

To complete your post, add a caption and throw in some hashtags. If you use the right ones, you can get yourself more likes and followers. The top hashtags last year were #love, #fashion and #photooftheday.

How do I make Instagram private?

You can make your account private through the app settings. This means that only people you know can follow you and see your posts.

The beauty of a private account is that you’ve got full control over who follows you. That means that you can bin any questionable follower requests. You can even choose to have no followers at all and turn your Instagram feed into a private gallery for yourself.

If becoming Insta-famous is your goal then a private account is not for you. With a public page, it’s easier for people to like your posts and to follow you. Keep an eye on the Blog as we’ll be posting more about becoming Insta-famous soon.

Instagram stories – what’s the deal?

Instagram launched the stories feature back in November 2016 and since then, it’s gone from strength to strength with 300 million daily users.

But, what is it?

Instagram stories lets you share snippets of your day in the form of photos or short videos. You can share as many as you like, adding text, stickers or doodles to your post by tapping the options in the top right corner. When you’re happy with your post, just tap ‘Your story’ to add it.

If taking a normal photo or video doesn’t quite cut it, you can use the Boomerang, Rewind, Hands-free, Superzoom or Stop-Motion features to add even more to your story.

Like your Instagram feed, if your profile is set to private then only your followers can watch your story. You can also hide your full story from any of your followers if you need to.

You can find stories by people you follow, at the top of your feed. Tap their profile picture to start their story. You can skip forwards or backwards by tapping the left or right sides of the picture or video. You can also skip to the next person’s story by swiping left or right.

 

Now you’re clued up on how to use Instagram, get snapping! If you find yourself becoming a pro and want to move up the popularity table then, look out for our next Blog post on how to become Insta-famous.