Editing

11 Tips To Successfully Use Instagram For Your Pictures

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It doesn’t matter if you’ve used Instagram for yourself, chances are you’ve run across an Instagram image on the Internet.

Instagram’s use of the photo filter provides pictures with the look of professional editing. Some filters boost the colors while other filters soften the light of the picture to give it a vintage look.

Although Instagram’s filters has changed the way mobile photo editing works, it’s only a part of the whole application. There are more than 50 million users, but only for Android and iOS devices. Android recently got the Instagram app this year, and in six days, there were more than five million downloads.

Instagram’s success caught Facebook’s eye, and the popular social media network attained Instagram for $1 billion in April. While people are just now noticing Facebook’s plans for Instagram, it led Facebook to create its own filter-friendly app – Facebook Camera.

Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom founded Instagram in 2010, and it’s undergone a plethora of changes. However, the concept hasn’t changed – it’s still simple to use and is social.

Are you interested in learning about Instagram or want to learn more about the program? Below are some Instagram basics that will ensure you understand a little about how the social networking site works.

11 Tips To Help You Successfully Use Instagram

How To Register or Setup Instagram

Instagram is mainly a mobile platform, which means you must have an Android or iPhone to download the app. Once downloaded and installed, you’ll need to register an account.  Instagram accounts are automatically made public, but you can create a private account if you want.  All you need to do is go to your profile tab and find “Privacy.” Here, you can choose to make your pictures private.

Once you’ve signed up, you can make changes to your profile. You can add a 150-character bio and website if you have one.

Getting Notifications

Bear in mind that Instagram has no web-hosted feed of pictures, which means you’ll do a majority of the browsing using the mobile app. In order to get the most from the experience, you should create push notifications.  Push notifications can be set up for the following

  • Users make mention of you in comments
  • Users comments or likes your pictures
  • Photo is on the “Popular” page
  • You’ve been tagged in a picture

Set up the notifications by going to the Settings wheel while you’re in your profile tab. Find Push Notifications Settings and then edit the Share Settings on the Options panel. Here, you can alter how you get Instagram notifications. Click out of the app and get into the Settings locations. Here, locate Instagram in the Notification Center, and you can alter the preferences in the app.

If you decide not to enable external notifications, you will still be made aware of the account activity when in the app. Notifications will show up in the app’s News section, which you can view through the navigation panel.

Connect To Your Other Social Accounts

Instagram is a rather isolated social app that lives on the mobile platform, but you need to connect it to your other social media accounts. You have the option to link the account to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, etc. How do you do this? Go to the Profile Tab and then Edit Sharing Settings. From there, pick the network you want to link to.

Every time a photo is uploaded to your Instagram account, you can choose to share it with the enabled social networks. If you decide not to share them on any of the social networks, the photo will be posted on just Instagram and only seen by users who follow you.

Adding Pictures

Instagram’s bread and butter are pictures and sharing those pictures. Hit the blue camera button at the center of the app’s navigation panel. Instagram automatically activates the camera, which means you need to choose to take a picture or pick a picture saved on your phone already. If you pick the second option, hit the double-square button on the screen’s left-hand side.

If you decide to use a picture from the camera roll, the app will size it to perfect squares. If you choose a photo that was taken horizontally, you’ll need to crop some parts of it, or you’ll get a default black border.

Filters/Borders

After you’ve taken or chose a picture, you’ll see three icons underneath it. There are 17 Instagram filters you can choose from – these filters will add effects, depths and layers. Many of them will give photos a vintage look.

Experiment with the various filters and choose one that’s right for the picture. By doing this on a regular basis, you’ll find what works and doesn’t work for each photo. Every filter comes with a border. The Earlybird filter will give your picture rounded edges; the Kelvin adds a sandpapery-like frame.

Tilt-Shift

Instagram’s tilt-shift lets you put attention on certain planes of the picture. It offers a look of a changed depth of field that can create stunning pictures your smartphone has taken. Be sure you experiment with this feature (hit the water droplet-like button above the picture).

You can pick either the circle or horizontal bar. The bar will add a thin focus field on the image, which can move up and down. You can also swivel to rotate the picture. You can move the circle on the photo to give it a focused effect.

The tilt-shift can give your picture a professional and artistic feel to it. However, it can also seem a bit odd. The best thing you can do is experiment until you find the effect you want.

Your Other Options

Before you save your picture, there are several editing options to consider trying. At the Sun icon, you can apply the Lux effect, which auto-enhances the photo and brings out the colors. You can also rotate the image so that you can take a selfie.

Instagram Videos

You can also create short videos – three to 15 seconds long. All you need to do is hit the camera button and pick the video recorder option. You can either film one long segment or several clips that you can pierce together. If you plan to create multiple clips, you’ll need to take your finger off the record button. If you’re unhappy with a clip, you can delete it with the delete arrow button.

Once done recording, hit Next to add your filter – similar to what you’d do with a picture. Instagram Video does provide more filter options. For iPhone 4S or later users, you can use the video stabilizing feature. This feature is turned on already but can be shut off with one click.

You don’t have to create a live video. Instead, you can pick an existing a video in the phone’s gallery and upload them.

Sharing Your Pictures

Once your pictures are ready, you need to hit the green checkmark – this brings up the social sharing screen. If you want, you can add a capture that explains the picture or something that you feel your social networking followers will like. Add hashtags and @mention people – useful if you’re going to share it through Twitter.  The caption will be the text tweet, and the app will file these notations as they need to be.

If you enabled the location services, you could choose to tag where the photo was taken.

Depending on the networks your Instagram is linked to, you can toggle the accounts to share on the platforms.  How the photo looks will be dependent upon the style of the preferred social network you’ve linked to. When you share to Facebook, the photo will show up in users’ News Feed with an attached caption.

You can opt to share Instagram photos you’ve posted before linking the accounts. Go to your profile and choose a picture. If you want to share, click the three dots icon. Hit the “Share Post” option and choose a network. You can also copy the URL to share the picture manually.

Following Instagram Users

After all is said and done, it’s time you start following others Instagram users. There may already be a lot of friends of yours on Instagram, which means you need to connect to them. To do this, you need to go to your profile tab and look for “Find Friends.” You can search for Twitter or Facebook friends who’ve linked their Instagram accounts, or you can import your phone’s contact list to find connections. You can also search by their username, name or tag.

Instagram will also suggest people you can follow. Go to the “Popular” page and look through photos that capture your attention.
After you’ve followed users, you can see their pictures in the news feed, which you can access by hitting the house-like icon on the left side of the panel. As well as seeing their photos, you can see the likes and comments made on them.

Web Use Of Instagram

Instagram’s existence on the Internet has grown significantly during the last year. And, thanks to its web version, you can edit your profile, like photos, find others, make comments and follow other users. The only thing you can’t do is upload videos or pictures.

If you want to create an Instagram account, make sure you visit Instagram.com to sign up.

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