Instagram is a software application that allows photo/video capturing and sharing on various social networks. It also doubles up as a social network itself.

Instagram is a popular software application that is mostly used through smart phones, tablets, or other handheld devices. The application is available for select operating systems, which include: iOS 5.0 or later, Android 2.2 or later and Windows Phone 8. Developed by Kevin Systrom and Michel Krieger, Instagram was launched in October 2010. As of April 2012, the service managed to garner as many as 100 million active users all over the world. At the same time that year, Instagram was acquired by the social media giant Facebook Inc., which is its caretaker and developer now.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is basically a photo application that is available for free on your smart phone or tablet. You can download it from the application store of your phone, such as the iTunes app store for Apple devices, or Google Play for Android devices. The application lets you click pictures and shoot videos while applying interesting filters to them, which magnify the photo/video’s quality to present a glossy finished product. You can share your photos or videos with your friends, relatives, etc. on the various social networks available, or share them through Instagram itself, which itself ranks as a photo-sharing social network.

Instagram Account

Before you can begin using the many facilities that Instagram provides, you will be first asked to register with the service. Creating an Instagram account isn’t very different from the usual email account registration or a Facebook/Twitter registration. You would be asked to choose a password and a user name for the same, reason being that Instagram is also a social network.

Instagram Network

Instagram is a very efficient social network, apart from being a photo service. Instagram lets you share the photos that you’ve captured and the videos that you’ve shot. While you’re at it, you also have the option of sharing your content on your multiple social network profiles at once. Likewise, your relatives and friends can also share their photos and videos with you, which would appear in your feed. You can also search for your friends from Facebook and Twitter on Instagram, and follow them. Instagram allows commenting on and captioning a photo or video as well. You can drop in a comment on a photo that you liked, or receive some as admiration for your photography skills, or in return for a kind comment as well.

Photo/Video Filtering

One of the chief reasons among many, the photo/video filtering option of Instagram makes it a one of a kind application. Filtering simply means that you have the option of altering a photo’s vital stats such as brightness, color, fade, contrast, texture, etc. There are many filters provided for the same by Instagram, which can make your pictures look crisper and sharper. Currently, Instagram uses the following photo filters:

  • Amaro
  • Rise
  • Hudson
  • X-pro II
  • Sierra
  • Lo-fi
  • Earlybird
  • Sutro
  • Toaster
  • Brannan
  • Inkwell
  • Walden
  • Hefe
  • Valencia
  • Nashville
  • 1977
  • Kelvin

All the above filters are easily applicable to a photograph as well, which is made possible simply at the click of the green checkmark button displayed on the screen.

Configuring and Mapping

While Instagram does provide a user with an option of sharing his/her content on all social media platforms at once, the user is also duly asked to configure the same. Before sharing your photos, Instagram would land you on a configuration page, where you will have the option of singling out one or two social networks on which you don’t want your content to be displayed.

Besides configuring details like these, Instagram allows a user with the option of adding the location, or geographical information to his/her photos. You can provide the location where a particular photograph was captured, or a video was shot, by tagging the same to your content. Users following you on the site would be able to learn about the geographical location of a place or thing shown in your photo or video.

As of the year 2013, Instagram grew by a formidable 23%, whereas its parent firm Facebook grew just by 3% in comparison. Therefore, Instagram is quickly catching up with other social networks, and for some well deserved reasons as well.

Is Instagram the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Photography?

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