Instagram Basics for Newbies

Instagram Basics for NewbiesI really don’t feel that old, but when it comes to social media… I am!!!  Somehow, I got on Facebook “relatively” early, in 2008, thanks to my neighbor who was 10 years younger than me and convinced me to join.  Five years later, in 2013, I started this WordPress blog (woohoo, proud of myself that it is still going!!!).  Now, in 2015, I decided it is time to figure out this whole “Instagram” business and decode the mysterious #hashtag.  Seriously, what is the #hashtag?

This post is for those of you who are also Instagram newbies, and will give you just enough information to start using Instagram yourself.  Nothing fancy, nothing too detailed, I am all about fast and simple.  So here are my five steps:

Step 1: Take a Picture/Video

Press the blue camera button at the bottom of the screen when you are ready to add a new picture to your Instagram account.  You can either choose a photo/video from your saved photo library, take a new photo, or take a new video (up to 15 seconds).

Instagram Basics for NewbiesStep 2: Edit Your Picture/Video

In Instagram, media is automatically cropped into a square shape, so adjust your picture/video to fit inside the square screen.  Play around with the filter buttons at the bottom to magically edit your picture like a professional within seconds!

Instagram Basics for NewbiesStep 3: Write a One-Sentence Description

The purpose of Instagram is just to share a photo, and not read a paragraph about someone’s day, such as how Facebook gets used at times.  Describe your photo in one short sentence.  The end.

Instagram Basics for NewbiesStep 4: Add #Hashtags

Hashtags are categories, or I like to think of them as “imaginary blue folders”.  So if I post a yoga photo, I add #yoga to my description.  As I accumulate more and more yoga photos, they will all be sorted, or filed under the #yoga “imaginary blue folder.”  Other people in the world can also add #yoga to their photos, and all of our pictures would be grouped together.  At any time, someone can browse through a #hashtag category to find photos that they “like”, or they can even “follow” a person’s account.  This is how the Instagram community is built.  It’s all about connection.  (And then you find yourself making up all sorts of #hashtag names just because #hashtagsareaddicting #ilovethattheyarearunonsentence #andihaveahardtimewritingwithoutspaces #andibetyouarekindofhavingfundecodingthissuperlonghashtag #ofcourseiamexaggeratingtheuseofhashtags #enough).

Instagram Basics for NewbiesStep 5: Tag Friends

There are two ways to tag a friend to your photo or post.  One way is to use the @ symbol and type their Instagram account name in your post description.  This is usually done when you are mentioning a friend in your one-sentence description.  Another way is to tap the actual photo and identify friends specifically on the picture.  This will not only alert them that you have tagged them, but also will save the photo to their clipboard in their account.

Instagram Basics for NewbiesThat’s it!  Now you can post your photo/video!  Of course I am 100% sure I am missing some fancy tricks and tips to Instagram, but these are the simplest 5 steps to getting started.

My purpose of Instagram is to document my fitness journey as a student, teacher, and parent, and just for fun, my goal is posting one picture a day.  I am on Day 16, with 16 posts so far.  Not bad!!! Staying on track!!!

Follow me on my Instagram account @gracelingyu!!!Instagram Basics for Newbies

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