I was instagram-challenged for a while, having no clue what else it did besides take cool pics, so I thought I’d share what I learned with you, in case I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know all you can do with it.
For a while, I had noticed pics shared on Twitter that said “via instagram” or had a link to a pic that started out with “instagr.am/” and when I’d click on them, I’d see a pic and then “so-and-so is using Instagram – a fun & quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo, then choose a filter to transform the look and feel of the shot into a memory to keep around forever.”
I thought it was pretty cool and then I learned that it was an iPhone app. So, I pouted because I didn’t have an iPhone.
And then I got one this spring. Instagram was one of the first apps that I added to it. And I started taking pics with it. Some I shared on twitter, some I didn’t. It was really easy to use. Simply press the share button and either take a pic right then or select one from your camera roll:
Then select a filter:
Then you can write a caption and choose how/if to share. There are options to connect your twitter, facebook, flickr, tumblr, posterous, and foursquare accounts. I only have my twitter connected to mine for the time being and don’t share every photo I take on twitter.
It was great because it made my photos look like… well, like they weren’t taken on a phone.
I noticed that I was sometimes getting people who “liked” my photos or left comments, but I really didn’t know how they were doing that.
And then I checked my “news” tab. It will tell you when someone liked your photo, commented on it, or if someone new started following you or if one of your contacts joined instagram. And I realized, huh, I’m missing out, this isn’t just about me taking a pic.
You can search for people to follow. Go to “profile” and then “find friends” or “invite friends.” You can find friends from your contact list, facebook friends, twitter friends, or you can search names and usernames. And then simply choose to follow who you would like to. My username on there is “shellthings” in case you want to follow me. And now that I know how to see who is following me, I’ll follow you back.
So, I started following people on there and checking out their photos by clicking on “feed.” You can see others’ photos and click on the heart to like them or you can leave a comment. At first I thought that it was yet another thing to have to keep up with… as if emails, blogs, twitter, and facebook aren’t enough… but I LOVE instagram.
It’s so quick to scroll through and see what your friends have been doing or to share what you are up to… no reading required.
And don’t worry, you can play around with your profile settings to determine what you want to share and how you want to share it. Some people have their photos set to private so that only those they approve can see their photos.
Right now, it is just an iPhone app, but they are working on one for the Droid. It’s also free, so if you have an iPhone, be sure to check it out!