Free photo editing and sharing
Instagram is a free online photo editing app that combines a robust suite of editing tools with easy-to-use social media features. Instagram has made a name for itself as one of the fastest-growing and most popular social media apps in the world. All you need to do is download and install the app and you'll be sharing gorgeous photos in no time.
Your personal online photo album
Though it boasts many additional features like instant messaging, stories, and IGTV, the core of Instagram is photo editing and sharing. Once you've downloaded Instagram, log in and you can create an account that acts as a personal online photo album. You can snap a picture, edit it, and post it to your account.
Instagram's photo editing features are incredibly in-depth for a free app. Once you've taken your photo, you can make adjustments by applying one of Instagram's extensive libraries of pre-made filters. You can also dive in yourself and manually tweak elements like color, deepen shadows or boost highlights, and sharpen blurry images. Instagram makes it easy to turn even the most amateur photographers into artistic masters.
More than just photo sharing
With competitor apps like Snapchat and TikTok placing an increasing emphasis on video, Instagram is also branching out with features like Stories and IGTV. Stories are short video clips or pictures that you can post to your story feed. They're only visible for a few seconds, and disappear after 24 hours.
It's very similar to Snapchat, but Instagram Stories come with the app's typical suite of editing tools. In addition to basic filters, you can also add some more extravagant face filters, effects like sparkles and music, and add gifs to your stories. The level of depth allows users to get more creative with what they're sharing.
Similarly, IGTV is where accounts can post full-length videos and livestreams. This is especially useful for businesses, brands, or if you also have a Youtube channel. The feature was recently implemented and seems to still be catching on, but many major accounts also have an IGTV presence.
Your own homemade Reels
However, for something more permanent than Stories and more creative, you can try out Reels. With this feature, you can create 15-second multi-clip videos of photos and other videos. Simply open your IG camera and choose it at the bottom to start recording. Its editing tools are on the left side of the screen: Audio, Speed, Effects, and Timer. When you share it, it will follow your account’s privacy and either be public or only available to your followers.
Though competitors like TikTok and Snapchat focus more on the singular video aspect, Instagram incorporates those features seamlessly into its existing platform. Essentially, you get the best parts of Snapchat and TikTok wrapped up in a single pleasing package. These features don't feel tacked-on or gimmicky, either. They're well-executed and feel unique, not just like a Snapchat or TikTok ripoff.
Social media at its best
Features aside, it's undeniable that Instagram is simply pleasant to use, and it stands out from other social media experiences. You can easily follow profiles, and the latest posts are collated into an infinitely scrollable feed on the main page. In addition, Instagram's new dark mode presents a sleeker look and makes for easier browsing after dark. Posting and navigating through different screens is fast and easy, with no lag or load times and few glitches.
One minor drawback to be aware of is that a definite focus is placed on Instagram's mobile app. Though an in-browser version is offered, it doesn't have nearly as many features as the mobile versions. If you want to get the most out of the app, you'll definitely want to download Instagram to your phone.
The best choice for online photo editing
Instagram is one of the world's top social media apps for a reason. You can upload your favorite pictures, share stories and live video, and keep up to date with your friends and favorite celebrities all for free. You don't have to be a pro photographer to use it, either. A big part of what makes Instagram so popular is its accessibility.
Though there can be a few minor drawbacks, Instagram is constantly implementing tweaks and fixes in order to make using the app as enjoyable as possible. It's certainly worth the download.
Instagram recently made headlines by removing visible likes from posts, with the goal of making using the Instagram app more enjoyable and less of a popularity contest. Additionally, Instagram is the latest in a long line of social media apps to add a dark mode, which allows for easier browsing at night and consumes less battery.