Instagram logoInstagram: Apple / Android

Instagram is by far the most popular photo sharing app at the moment. And unlike some of those websites who developed a mobile version, Instagram was born mobile and developed a website afterwards. Simple and straightforward, it allows you to either take photos directly with the app or use one in your Gallery and crop, add a filter, and share with the world.

There’s also a social media component in Instagram where you can follow and be followed, use hashtags (read below for more information on hashtags) to label your photos, comment on photos, like various photos, tag people in the photo, add a location, and upload your photos to various social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). In 2013 Instagram also added the option to be able to take short 3-15 second videos.

Getting started

  1. Go to the link above and download the app.
  2. Open the app and tap Register.
  3. Create a username and password and fill out your profile.
  4. Tap Done.
  5. And you’re ready to go!

Here are some screenshots to help you get started in Instagram.

On your homepage, here is a screenshot letting you know what all those icons and buttons are:

Instagram Buttons

This screenshot shows you how to take a photo in Instagram:

Instagram photo

You can also edit some photos in Instagram, so here’s a screenshot showing how to do this:

Instagram Photo Editing

If you need more assistance using Instagram, here are a couple videos that may help. This first video shows how to take photos on the iPhone app, but the Android app is very similar – Instagram iPhone App Tutorial:

This video shows how to record video using the iPhone app, but the Android app is very similar – How to Record a Video with Instagram Using the iPhone App:

Libraries & Instagram

Libraries and library staff are using Instagram to help showcase their unique spaces, services, collections, events, and patrons. Check out some of these Instagram accounts you may want to follow or get ideas from:


For fun

More information


When you place the pound symbol (#) in front of a word, it turns it into a link called a hashtag. Hashtags are used to identify items about the same topic. You can then search the hashtag in Instagram and see all the images that were posted with that hashtag. Read this Instagram hashtags page for more information.

Popular Instagram hashtags:

  • #ThrowbackThursday – post an older picture in Instagram on Thursdays with this hashtag.
  • #SelfieSunday – post a selfie (picture you take of yourself) on Instagram on Sundays with this hashtag.
  • Add hashtags for your library when you post something library-specific.

Additional apps

There are a lot of apps you can use to interact with your Instagram account. Once you master Instagram, you might want to check out some of these apps:

instaframeInstaFrame: Apple / Android

InstaFrame allows you to post photos with a lot of different frames. It also has the capability to make collages.

padgramPadgram: Apple / Android

Padgram is a popular Instagram viewer where you can view multiple feeds, manage multiple Instagram accounts, and browse photos by category.

pic collagePic Collage: Apple / Android

Pic Collage allows you to create collages using your photos. It has fun stickers and multiple different fonts and frames. Items can be shared via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

JusgrammJusgramm: Apple / Android

Jusgramm allows you to create and share graphical text messages via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In the iPhone app you can even share them via iMessage.

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