Instagram 101


Instagram is photo-sharing social network that allows users with mobile phones to take pictures, apply artistic filters, and then share it via instagram or other social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare). Unlike other social networks, the only way to share photos is via mobile device. Instagram only allows users to view photos on the web via standard browsers.

Individuals or Organizations can create their own profiles on Instagram to post photos or like/comment on others' photos. Users can also "Follow" other users on Instagram to view a newsfeed of the most recent photos posted by those users. Like Twitter, Following does not have to be reciprocal.

Searching is very prominent in Instagram. Users can use hashtags (for example, #summercamp) to make searching easy

Who's on Instagram?

As of September 2012, there were over 100 million active users; the service continues to grow in popularity very quickly. Early demographics show that most users are young (35 and younger) and nearly 70% are female. But the service is growing so fast, these numbers could easily change.

How Does It Work?

Users download the free Instagram app onto their iPhone or Android (there is currently no support for web-only users or blackberry). Users create a free account or connect to their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Once you download the app and create an account, you can do three main things:

  • Search Instagram for images you might be interested in.
  • Take photos right in Instagram (or find photos you have already taken on your phone), apply one of many filters to them to add a creative touch, and then post them to your account. You can optionally share the images via other social networks as well.
  • Find other users on Instagram you know or would like to connect with and "Follow" their photos.

After you've posted some photos, your profile will look similar to this profile from Camp Ramah in the Berkshires (photo from iPhone):

ramah berkshires instagram iPhone 

You can comment on or Like any photo posted on Instagram. This photo from Camp Ramah in the Berkshires has been Liked 50 times:

Ramah Berkshires Instagram

Your next step? Download Instagram onto your phone and test it out. Ask your audience if they are using Instagram. If they are, you may want to test posting some great camp photos on Instagram for camp. You can also use Instagram to give your existing photos a little bit extra personality.