An Instagram Primer for Untourists

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Untours on Instagram

Love photography? Have a smartphone? Why not sign up for Instagram?

It’s super easy to share photos from your trip to Europe in real time with family and friends back home. Instagram allows you to share publicly or only with those who follow you, and you can adjust settings so that you must approve any followers. You can keep it private or set it to public, add hashtags, and join a global community of photo sharing.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s a primer to help you start.

For the record, writing about an app that is as user-friendly and intuitive as Instagram is silly. This is an overview to get you going. You may well move your way through without the aid of my verbose explanation!

1.  Download the Instagram app to your smartphone or tablet

Untours Instagram

2. Set up your account

Add a profile photo and nickname. Your nickname can be cryptic and anonymous. Maybe better to start that way. You can also add a line about yourself and a link, if you have a blog or other website you might like viewers to see. This will all be public, regardless of your privacy settings. But your posts themselves can be set to private.

3. Adjust privacy settings

Here you can determine if your account is public or private. You may also decide if you would like to approve your followers or let anyone follow you.

4. Choose people to follow

Instagram is owned by Facebook, and you will see friend suggestions in Instagram that follow your Facebook connections. This can be a nice way of finding people you already know who are using Instagram. You might be surprised who you find already at the Instagram party!

Also take time to search for organizations, celebrities, and artists you like. You can construct a very rich and interesting feed by finding your favorite travel sites, photographers, and public figures in Instagram.

And of course be sure to follow Untours!

Instagram for beginners

5. Edit and share a photo, and keep sharing!

To post, you can choose from your photo or video from LIBRARY or click PHOTO or VIDEO to take a new one within Instagram.

In Library, you can select one photo or multiple photos. To post more than one together, click the stacked square icon at bottom right and then click on all photos you wish to post. Photos default to a square format, but you can tap the icon with two arrows (lower right) to zoom out; from there post the full photo or zoom in selectively with your fingers.

Once you have selected and (re)sized your photo(s), click NEXT and scroll through the cool filter options at bottom. Choose your filter if you want one, and use the slider to determine how heavily you wish to apply the filter.

Then move on to EDIT at the lower right. Here you can play with cool effects like sharpening, shadows, fading, warmth, and contrast. You can also rotate and distort images, sharpen them, add color highlights, and use a tilt shift to blur the edges around a focal point. You may also use Vignette to darken the edges of an image.

Once you have the image as you like it, hit DONE in the upper right. If you have selected multiple images, you can move on to the others and repeat the process of Filter and Edit.

When you have finished all of them, click NEXT and write a caption. If you are sharing publicly, you may wish to add hashtags by topic (like #tuscany) to help other users find your image. When you are ready, go ahead and click SHARE in the upper right hand corner.

Untours on Facebook

6. Link to your other social media accounts

In the New Post / Share screen you may also notice Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr share options. You may wish to link your other social media accounts to Instagram so you can share to multiple networks with one post. This is especially fun if all your friends are in Facebook and not many are in Instagram yet. But get comfortable before you link these up.

7. Look at your feed

Hit the Home icon at bottom to see what other people are sharing. That’s where you’ll find your feed. Here you can like and comment on others’ photos and videos!

Of course you can move on to layout collages, share videos, and create stories if you wish and as you are ready. You can regram, latergram, and direct message, but all in good time!

Don’t forget to reach out: @untours and #untours. Let us know how it goes!


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