A reader requested that I cover the basics of Instagram.  If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it’s a popular social media network that focuses on sharing photos. It’s designed to work with the camera on your smartphone, though you can access and view photos via a browser.  You can only post photos from your phone.

Let’s take a look at how to create an account. If you’re using a phone or tablet, go to the app store for your device and look for the Instagram app.  The app is free and easy to download and install. Remember, when installing the app, you will need to give permission to use the camera.

If using a browser, go to http://www.instagram.com.   Once you open the app or go to the browser, you’ll need to create an account. Click or tap on Sign up.


If you have a Facebook account on the device you’re using, you’ll be offered the choice of creating the account using your Facebook ID or signing up with an email or phone .

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Enter either your email address or smartphone number.


Enter your name and create a password.

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You can choose to sync your contacts or to continue without syncing them. If you sync contacts, Instagram with automatically look for people you have in your phone or email contacts on Instagram.



You’ll get this screen. Click Next to continue.


Now it’s time to complete your profile. Start by adding a favorite photo as your profile picture. Or you can choose to skip. But I will warn you that people tend to regard an Instagram account without a profile picture with suspicion.


Add from your phone or import a favorite Facebook picture.


Once the photo is added, you can choose to make it your first Instagram post. Then hit next.


Then enter a brief biography.   If you have another web page or account you want to link people to, enter it here. Mine says “Mystery writer, tech guru, darned fine cook.” When you are finished, hit Done.


The Welcome screen will open.


Swipe right or left and you’ll see suggestions from Instagram for accounts to follow.  If you follow an account, that means you’ll see the photos the user posts.


In the next part of our series, we’ll learn how to post.