Instagram is a photo sharing application available on mobile devices that allows users to post photos and videos to a profile that through settings they can have as private or public. Users can create a user name of their choosing which will then show up when that profile is used to post or comment. Instagram also allows users to create another name or use the username in the profile section along with a short biography. The application then allows users to find and follow profiles of areas of interest or public figures of interest. Instagram features work best and are available for mobile devices, but users are able to view and interact the news feed, which features posts from followed profiles, on a desktop or laptop computer.
Instagram is a good way for Digital Writers to practice writing in a concise and precise way. To do this, users should pay attention to their posts and see which captions and tags require an additional action or ‘more’ to view the entire thing and then edit their post to eliminate that need.
- Post Photos
- Post Videos
- Comment on Photos
- Comment on Videos
- Follow People
- Tag Photos
- Tag Videos
The captions can be any length the user wants, though it is encouraged to keep in mind that at a certain number of lines, a ‘more’ option will be connected to the post allowing users to then see the entirety of the post. Most users scrolling through will not take the time to click to see the entire caption or the tags if they are hidden by the ‘more’ option.
The image from a profile on Instagram shows a bad example of how to caption and tag a picture due the caption exceeding three lines. Instagram forces this on pictures where the caption and the corresponding tags exceed three lines.
The image from a different profile on Instagram shows the proper way to caption and tag a picture. This profile kept the caption and corresponding tags to under three lines, therefore Instagram did not have to impose the ‘more’ option on their picture.
Tags are a word or phrase that includes the hashtag (#) symbol at the start. For example, a tag about writing would include #writer or #writersofinstagram. Those who follow writing profiles know to look through these tags as they will lead to profiles of that area of interest. A writing profile not using one of those tags might not get found or will require more work to be found. Having hashtags that are precise and concise to the content in the caption will help others find the picture that was tagged with words relating to the content such as a writing profile using #writer or #writersofinstagram.
There are many sites that allow those interested about Instagram to learn more. One site, Lydia, allows users to learn an overview of everything about Instagram. Lydia is a subscription based site that will allow a preview of lessons. Another option, Instagram Help Center, allows those specifically interested in how to hashtag to learn more about that aspect of Instagram on content focused page.