Instagram is a social media platform for sharing photos and videos. It was first created in 2010 with the intent of helping people share images. Facebook and Orkut were okay with text and status but Instagram loved Images. Kevin Systrom, the founder of Instagram wanted something more of social sharing with Images. He got to the idea that images are the ones that catch more interest and no doubt he was right. Later on, many other functionalities were added to Instagram which we see today. If you are not sure about all of these functionalities don’t worry. We have tried to make our beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021 pretty exhaustive. We do update this page regularly with the latest Instagram features and options. So, make sure you subscribe to our blog!
In 2012, Instagram (www.instagram.com) was purchased by Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg did saw the way it was growing in the social platform space and might have had a deja vu. The acquisition made complete sense and I expected an even better integration of both apps but let’s keep that for later.
Coming back to the Instagram app, lets’ proceed with downloading it on your phone. You do have to be at least 12 years old to use the app.
Download Instagram App on your Phone
You can download Instagram from the App Store on just about any phone you have. It is available for iPhones, Android phones, and Windows phones. Instagram has over 100,000,000 users at the time of me writing this post. Search for the Instagram app in the store, then go ahead and download it. This is the first step on our beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021. After you download the Instagram app, the next step is to create an Instagram account.
How to sign up for an Instagram Account?
To create an Instagram account, first, download the app and open it. Then press “sign up” on the app page to create your account. On the first page, you’re going to see some options to sign in. You can use Facebook to sign in or you can sign up by phone or email.
If you don’t have a Facebook account then go-ahead to sign up by phone or email. Again, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so a lot of the options are going to be related to Facebook.
Go ahead and sign up by phone or email here.
Then type in your phone number or your email address.
On the next page, it will ask you to add your name so your friends could find you. If you want your friends to be able to find you, use your real name. If you want to be more anonymous then you can go with nicknames or some other fancy names. Then press “next“.
Create a password. Make sure you remember this password because you will need it again to log in if you do log out.
You will no be able to see your username. See if you like it else Instagram allows you to change your username even after the account creation. You could do this basically every once in a while. And if you are unsure about which username to choose check out our cool Instagram username generator.
Find friends and follow your favorite influencers – Guide for beginners
Then it’s gonna say do you want to connect to Facebook, to find your friend. If you do already use Facebook then go ahead and connect to it. If you don’t then skip it.
It will now ask you for permission to access your contacts. You can allow or skip it.
It will then ask you to add a profile picture. I recommend you do this here. This will help your friends to identify and find you easily. But you could do this anytime and skip it, for now, to get started quickly.
Then it’s going to suggest to you some people whom you can follow. When you follow people it is going to show you everything they post.
So go ahead and follow your favorite move starts, rock bands, brands or favorite shows, etc. You can search for them in the search box as well. For example, you can follow Nike, Nat Geo, and maybe Rock. Then press “next”. It will then ask you if you want to turn notifications on. You could turn that on or skip it.
Congratulations! Now you’ve created your Instagram account. Let’s go through the Instagram features. What all things you can do on Instagram?
How to use Instagram Features? – Beginner’s Guide to Instagram 2021
The next thing that we are going to discuss in our beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021 is the overview of the app. In the last few years, Instagram has rolled out a lot of new options. You can think of Instagram as a combination of six different apps. In Instagram, you have your:
- Instagram feed,
- Instagram direct messages,
- Instagram search,
- Instagram reels,
- Instagram shop and,
- Instagram story
Let’s see a quick overview of each. I would start with the first feature – the Instagram feed. It was the original way of Instagram for the first five years or so. Instagram feed is the homepage of Instagram. On the homepage, you can basically scroll down and if you are following people, you will see their post.
For example, If you followed Rock and Nat Geo as we discussed previously, their posts will appear on your feed. It’s like your Facebook wall where you see updates from your friends. You can keep scrolling up and down to check out more updates from the people you follow. The latest updates are always on the top. Hence, if your friends posted something recently it would appear in the first few posts.
If you like a post, just double-tap it and it will give a heart to the post. You can see that heart below the picture, in the bottom left corner.
Next to it in the comments section. You can tap on it to make a comment. You could leave an emoji comment for example and press “Post”. Underneath the heart, you can see how many likes a post has and all the different comments people posted.
Instagram Direct Messages (DMs)
Then you have direct messages. There is an airplane icon that takes you to the direct message interface. Here you could send direct private messages to your friends. In our example, you can send something directly to the Rock. You can send him a message, but probably he is not going to get it. This message will go through the spam filter and will be marked as spam. But you get the idea. If you send messages to people who follow you or are not public figures, your messages will hit their inbox and they will be able to read them.
You can check that you are on the homepage by viewing the icons in the bottom part of the app. When you are scrolling through your Instagram feeds, the home icon on the bottom ribbon will turn bold. So this was about the homepage of Instagram on our beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021. Let’s move on to the Instagram search which is next in the line.
At the bottom of the page, you also have a search icon next to the home button. Here you could actually search for people who you know, whom you want to follow. It is similar to Google search for the internet or windows search box for your windows PC. If you know your friend’s Instagram handle, then search for it in the Instagram search box and you will be able to see their profile. Else you can also search for their name and Instagram will show you suggestions to choose from. Or you can also press the little plus icon “+”, on the side. It will then get access to your contact and based on that it will recommend you some friends to follow.
When you will tap the plus icon “+”, it will show you three sections “Suggested”, “Facebook” and “Contacts”. The suggested ones are coming from your current friends. It finds the people who are friends to your friends and suggests them to you. Facebook suggestions will be visible if you have connected your Facebook profile. Contacts are recommendations based on the cell phone numbers in your phone directory.
And if you don’t give access to either Facebook or your contacts, then you will have to manually search for people in the search box.
On the discover page, you will discover a variety of different contents based on what you interact with. If you like cars a lot and you tap like on cars or view cars, it will start recommending more Instagram posts about cars.
You can also explore this page by topics on the top of the page. Slide through different sections at the top, below the search bar, to see different categories. When you will tap on any of the categories latest Instagram posts around them will appear. For example, If you are more of a travel enthusiast, the explore page will show you travel-related posts mostly. As you use the app more and more it becomes more customized to your liking. And starts showing you the content you are fond of.
This was a short description in our beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021 about Instagram search. It’s pretty handy when you want to look for people or content on Instagram. Let’s move on to Instagram reels.
Instagram launched a new product called “Reels“. It’s built right into Instagram. A reel is simply a short video anywhere from 3 to 15 seconds. If you’re familiar with Tiktok at all, you’ll feel right at home with Instagram reels. If not you can think of reels as another attempt by Instagram to maintain dominance in the social video landscape.
You’ll find the reels option next to the search icon at the bottom of the app. Once you select this option, you’ll see popular short videos created by different Instagram users. You can scroll up and down to check out switch to another reel. You have the option to like, comment, and share the reel on the right corner. These options work similarly to the ones we have in the post.
Also see – How to use copyrighted music on Instagram legally?
As the name suggests, Instagram launched a shop for its users. You can see the shop icon next in line to Instagram reels. It is in the form of a handbag. Once you tap it, you can see different products sold by users you follow and the ones that are popular. You can also search for different shops using the search bar provided at the top.
You can also sell products on Instagram. But I’ll create a separate post on how you can do that.
Now comes the last option we have inline – an Instagram account. You can use it to post an Instagram story. If you have used Snapchat, then it’s kind of similar to a Snap. You can post a picture or a video on Instagram that will last for twenty-four hours. It is also similar to Whatsapp status. To add an Instagram story, click on the “+” icon on your profile picture and if will start accessing your camera. You can then take a short video or maybe a photo, edit it and share it on Instagram.
These were some of the new Instagram features that you can use. This collection of features are regularly updated on this post, beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021. So do subscribe to our blog to stay updated.
Now we have discussed a lot about new Instagram features and how to access what others have shared, let’s see how can you add new posts, stories, and reels on Instagram.
How to add a post to Instagram?
Sharing your daily life updates and special moments with your friends and family is a great joy. You might not want to post it just on the Instagram story as it will go away in 24 hours. But to share it on your Instagram account as a post so that it remains on your profile for as long as you want. Below are the steps on how to add a post to Instagram?
- Step 1 – To add a story on Instagram, go to the app’s homepage.
- Step 2 – You’ll see three icons in the top right corner, tap on the one that shows a ‘+’ sign as shown below.
- Step 3 – It will then access your photo library. And ask you for the photos or videos you want to add to your Instagram posts. Select the posts/videos.
- Step 4 – It will then provide you options to enter a caption, tag your friends, add the location where the pictures/videos were taken. Also, if you want to share it on other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as well. Put the relevant information.
- Step 5 – Check everything thing looks good and tap “Share”.
This were some quick steps from our beginners guide to Instagram 2021 on adding a new post to Instagram. This was about the Instagram post but what about Instagram reels and live videos. Like, we have discussed how you can add story and post on Instagram? But what about other stuff?
Adding reels to Instagram is also simple and very similar to adding story and posts. Check below on how to add reels to Instagram?
How to add reels to Instagram?
Adding reels is similar to adding posts on Instagram. Below are the steps:
- Step 1 – Open Instagram and stay on the homepage of the app.
- Step 2 – Select the ‘+’ icon on the top right corner like you did for adding posts above or tap on your profile picture.
- Step 3 – You will notice that Instagram now has access to your camera. At the bottom, it shows you different options such as “POST”, “STORY”, “REELS”, and “LIVE”. Select “REELS”.
- Step 4 – Tap the media player option at the bottom center to record the Instagram reel video.
- Step 5 – Use the option on the right middle section to edit your Instagram reel, add music and change the speed of your Instagram reel, etc.
- Step 6 – Check the reel and tap on the “Share to” option at the bottom right corner.
- Step 7 – Select who you want to share the reel with. Usually, Instagram users make it public and share it with all of their friends.
- Step 8 – Share it.
So, these were some quick steps on how to add reels to Instagram from our beginner’s guide to Instagram 2021.