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!

Instagram - Free - Download Now

September 11, 2018 - Instagram introduces video tagging

You know how you can directly tag someone in your Instagram photos? Well users will soon be able to tag people in videos, but the update is rolling out to selected 'grammers first.

The option uses the same icon that users normally tap at the bottom left of tagged photos, but instead of overlaying the content with tagged names, the button links to a separate page listing all the people tagged in the video. (MacRumors)

The new page will be called "People in this Video" which will allow you to see everyone who's been tagged in a window that will appear on the right of your screen.

August 14, 2018 - Instagram users are reporting the same strange new hack

Since the beginning of August, Instagram users have reported a bizarre hack: users will be 'logged out' of their account, and once they go to log back in, their username will no longer exist. Their handle will be changed, along with their profile picture, as well as the email and phone number that's connected to the account, making it impossible to access their information.

On Twitter, there have been more than 100 of these types of anecdotal reports in the last 24 hours alone. According to data from analytics platform Talkwalker, there have been more than 5,000 tweets from 899 accounts mentioning Instagram hacks just in the last seven days. Many of these users have been desperately tweeting at Instagram's Twitter account for help. (Mashable)

Once the accounts have been hacked, the picture is typically set to a Disney or Pixar character. The email associated with the accounts is switched to a Russian .ru email address. Their bios and personal information are also deleted.

To prevent things like this from happening to your Instagram account, we recommend turning on two-factor authentication. Plenty of users who have been affected by the hack didn't have two-factor authentication turned on — however it is worth noting that even having this extra security step might not fully keep your IG profile safe.

The extra security measure didn't protect Chris Woznicki, who was using two-factor authentication at the time his account was hacked 10 days ago. Woznicki says Instagram sent him security emails notifying him the email address on his account had been changed (once again, to a .ru address) and 2FA had been disabled. But by the time he saw the messages, it was too late and he had already lost access to his account, which had 660 followers. Others have reported similar occurrences. (Mashable)

July 19, 2018 - Instagram now lets you see who's online for more efficient DM'ing

The Instagram app is loaded with all sorts of features these days, one of which is the ability to send direct messages to friends and family members. Thanks to a new update that's rolling out, it'll now be easier to get in touch with friends right away.

Starting today, you'll begin to see a small green icon next to people within Instagram that indicates they're online and actively using the app.

This indicator will be present just about everywhere you go, including your inbox for direct messages and your friends list when sharing a post you see on your main feed.

If you don't want that indicator showing up by your name, you can jump into the new Activity Status section of the app and toggle off the Show Activity Status option.

July 2, 2018 - Instagram is testing out a question-asking feature in Stories

Instagram Stories are a great way to get feedback from your followers. With the poll sticker and emoji slider sticker, users can find out what their fans really think about...well, anything! I've seen individuals ask their followers for opinions about which of two haircuts to get, which of two product color schemes to go forward with, and even how much they loved the finale of [insert preferred TV show here]. However, sometimes you need more details than tapping one of two pre-selected options or sliding a dot all the way to 😍 provides. What if you're an artist looking for suggestions on what to draw? Or what if you want to know why fruitbabe91 thinks you'd look hot with a hipster mullet?

You may be in luck. According to a report by Richard Gao over at Android Police, it seems that in addition to IGTV and the multitude of other new stuff Instagram has been rolling out recently, the social media platform is testing a feature that allows you to ask your followers questions in Stories. With this feature, your question will appear in a little rectangular sticker in your story, followed by a text box that your followers can fill to their heart's content, whether they're providing some insight about a book you're considering reading or roasting you into oblivion. It seems like it could be a great way to get the info you're interested in without everyone and their brother clogging your inbox with DMs, though we can't yet verify whether the responses get sent via DM anyway or if, like with polls, they remain a part of the Story.

According to Gao (as well as Jordan Crook of TechCrunch), though not everyone is seeing this feature pop up within the app, users from Spain to Indonesia (pictured above) have spotted it and have been able to test it out. The feature also hasn't been confirmed by Instagram as of this post, but we'll likely be seeing something about it very soon.

May 22, 2018 - #HALLELUJAH: Instagram finally adds a Mute button

Have you ever been super annoyed with someone on your Instagram feed, but you don't want to unfollow them at the risk of ruining your friendship/relationship? Then you're going to be incredibly happy to hear about Instagram's new Mute button.

If you didn't already know, you can already mute Instagram Stories by pressing and holding them and then tapping the mute option, but Muting entire profiles and posts is an entirely new feature.

Instagram said that it added this feature to make your feed more personalized, but it acknowledges there was clearly user demand. "We've also heard it may be a useful tool for managing complex social dynamics," said a rep for the company. (BuzzFeed)

You can mute someones profile by tapping on the three dots in the upper left of their post and tapping the mute option.

May 22, 2018 - 'You're All Caught Up' — Instagram now lets you know when you've scrolled through all your daily posts

Ever since Instagram broke its chronological timeline and opted for this... random nonsense that we experience every day (I could use stronger words, but I wont), it's tough to distinguish what you've scrolled passed and which post is new and certified fresh.

Sometimes you can get into what I like to call a Scroll Hole that keeps you trapped in your social media bubble, constantly liking posts you've already double-tapped while slowly going insane every time you refresh the app.

Now Instagram has introduced a new feature that lets you know when you've scrolled through everything once aka the 'You're all Caught Up' feature.

But when will it appear on your Insta? Probably not any time soon.

Instagram is showing some users a mid-feed alert after a bunch of browsing that says "You're All Caught Up – You've seen all new post from the past 48 hours." When asked about it, Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that it's testing this feature. It declined to give details about how it works, including whether the announcement means you've seen literally every post from people you follow from the last two days, or just the best ones that the algorithm has decided are worth showing you. (TechCrunch)

May 17, 2018 - Share posts directly to your Instagram Stories

Remember the days where Stories were Stories and posts were posts on Instagram? Well now you can share your posts — and other people's posts — directly to your Instagram Story.

Instagram imagines the feature will be used to help promote friends and brands you like on your own story, making it easier to share, say, a band's tour announcement with your followers. (It's easier than saving or screenshotting the image itself since people are going to do it anyway.) Any post that you share to your story still will include the original poster's username, along with a link back to the original post. (The Verge)

The feature will launch on Android today and will roll out for iOS in the next few weeks.

May 1, 2018 - Instagram adds video chat!

Looking to video chat with a fellow Instagrammer or pal? You can effortlessly now through the app itself!

Starting a video chat will be easy. All you have to do is tap the camera icon at the top of a Direct thread (assuming the recipient hadn't opted out of using Direct messages). (Engadget)

One of the best features with this new video chat option is the ability to continue to scroll your newsfeed while chatting. You can even have 4-way chats with friends at the tap of a button.

The new feature will begin rolling out this week.

May 10, 2018 - Introducing: Emoji Sliders!

Are you someone who's a massive fan of using emoji in your Instagram stories (cough guilty cough)? Then this new update is going to blow your mind a li'l bit!

the company says the new feature acts similar to a poll, letting users pick how much they like or dislike something. For example, "How much do you love pizza?" could have anything from ☹️ to 😃, with a slider that has a bunch more emojis in between. The emoji sliders can be placed within your Instagram Stories. (9 to 5 Mac)

The feature will begin rolling out this week and is free for all users.

April 24, 2018 - Instagram has released a Data Download tool so you can leave the site

Thinking about cutting the cord re: Instagram following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal but worried about losing all those precious memories you've collected there over the years? Fear not: according to TechCrunch, the social media site has finally launched a Data Download tool so you can grab all your photos and videos before you leave.

This feature was originally publicly requested by TechCrunch in an article in which they called out Instagram for not having a "Download Your Information" tool similar to that offered by its parent company, Facebook. The next day, Instagram announced that the tool was on its way, and with it users will be able to export all their stored content, including "photos, videos, archived Stories, profile info, comments, and non-ephemeral messages." Depending on how much stuff you've uploaded over the years, it may end up taking up to a few days for your download to be ready. However, it's better than needing to go through shady third-party apps that require your password and other personal information in order to function.

Right now, you can only access Data Download via a web browser. However, a spokesperson for Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that mobile versions will be coming soon, allowing you to access it from your Instagram app's privacy settings:

An Instagram spokesperson now confirms to TechCrunch that 'the Data Download tool is currently accessible to everyone on the web, but access via iOS and Android is still rolling out.'

For more information, check out TechCrunch's piece here.

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!

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.