Instagram lets you take photos and videos with your iOS device, apply a few special effects, and share them with family friends on its own social network - or via other social networks.
What can you do with Instagram?
You take your pictures, add a customized filter, and post it to Instagram’s community or through Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare,or Tumblr. Through the Instagram app, you can give “likes” and give or receive comments on your pictures.
Instagram has a Facebook-style feed, in which you can view all the photos uploaded by yourself and the people who you follow on Instagram. If you are looking for something specific there is a search function that allows you to look for tags, users, and locations. You can also filter your feed by treading tag, collection, and location, to help find pictures appropriate to your interests (though currently this feature is only available in the US).
The best thing about Instagram are the filters included in the app. There are 20 to choose from (Lomo-fi, Earlybird, Lily, Apollo, Nashville, 1977...) with different color, brightness, and lighting effects. If chosen wisely, you can obtain really awesome results.
Instagram also includes support for videos, allowing you to capture up-to 15 seconds of footage to share via the Instagram network. As with photos, you can choose from a range of effects to apply to your videos to get them looking great. It also offers the ability to stitch several clips together into a single video.
Instagram includes a photo and video messaging feature called Instagram Direct. It allows you to capture images and video then share them with Instagram friends. You can send messages via Instagram Direct to up-to 15 of your contacts at once. There is also an incredibly intuitive photo editor. It allows you to refine photos by adjusting aspects such as the sharpness, warmth, and brightness. You can also adjust the strength of the filters. For example, to change the 1977 filter, simply double-tap on it which will bring up a panel to adjust the photos.
Aside from the impressive photo editor, Instagram also has streamlined the process of uploading and sharing videos as well as fixing some bugs.
The service is very easy to use, and if you have many friends on Instagram it could be a more practical alternative to sending multimedia messages via other services like WhatsApp or Snapchat.
Is Instagram complicated?
The Instagram app is very easy to navigate. There are icons at the bottom of the interface which represent the different features of Instagram: the photo feed, photo/user search, photo capture, news feed (recent activity on the network from you and those you follow), and profile settings. When viewing pictures on your profile you can choose to display as a list or as a series of tiles for easy navigation.
The presentation of the photos themselves in the photo feed is very clear, and likes and comments are shown underneath each picture. You can like or comment on a photo with a single click of an icon. However, it's a shame you can't open images full screen (i.e. you can only ever see them within the feed).
Applying filters and retouching your photos in Instagram is very simple. You can snap an image through the app or choose one from your phone then view live previews of what each effect will look like.
Get yourself on Instagram
The Instagram app makes it easy to apply fun effects to your photos and share them with your friends. Although it requires you to sign-up to share images, the possibilities of what you can do with your pictures are vast.
- Disappearing Photos and Videos in Instagram Direct: Send disappearing photos and videos to friends and groups. Swipe right into the camera to capture, then tap the arrow to send it privately. These updates are available starting today.
- Live stories: Go live to connect with your friends and followers right now. When you're done, your live story disappears. Live stories will be rolling out in the coming weeks.