How to Use Instagram on an iPhone

Instagram has been owned by Facebook since 2012.
... Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Instagram was launched as an iPhone app in October 2010, giving users the opportunity to share photos and videos with friends and the wider world. The most recent version of the app for iOS, which you can download through iTunes or from the App Store on your phone, is compatible with any iPhone running iOS 6.0 or later. The first time that you use the app, you'll be prompted to sign up for a free Instagram account by supplying an email address, username and password. Alternatively you can create a new profile by connecting your Facebook account.

Tap the Home tab button (a house icon) to see photos recently posted by you and your friends. You can tap the "Like" button (or double-tap a picture) to show your approval or select "Comment" to leave a comment.

Tap the Explore tab button (a compass symbol) to see photos and videos that are currently popular on the Instagram network. You can search for specific users or photos and videos matching a specific hashtag using the box at the top.

Tap the News Feed tab button (a heart shape inside a speech bubble) to see news from your network. The Following tab shows activity from people you are following; the News tab shows activity specifically related to you (such as new likes, comments and followers).

Tap the Profile tab button (a contact card icon) to see your Instagram profile, which includes your name, recent photos and videos, and your followers count. Select "Edit Your Profile" to make changes to your profile.

Tap the cog icon in the top right corner of the Profile screen to change the Instagram app settings. You can modify options for sharing images, push notifications, photo storage and video preloads and audio, as well as clearing your search history and finding new friends on the network.

Tap the Camera tab button in the center of the toolbar to add new photos or videos to your Instagram stream. You will be asked to grant Instagram permission to use your iPhone's camera and microphone.

Tap on the blue shutter button to take a photo. You can use the icons at the top to switch between the front and rear cameras and to bring up a grid on screen. The video camera icon by the blue button lets you switch to video mode.

Select any of the filter thumbnails listed to apply one to your image. The icons above the filter thumbnails let you straighten the picture, add a border, apply a tilt shift effect and add the Lux vibrance effect. Tap "Next" to move on.

Enter a caption for your photo, if required. You can also tag people in the image, add it to your photo map (where images are matched to their locations) and share it across your other social networks. Tap "Share" to post the photo to Instagram.

  • The steps above have been tested with iOS 7.0.4 and the latest version of the Instagram app as of January 2014. If you are using different versions of the software, some of the steps may differ.
  • Instagram Direct lets you send photos privately to one other user. You can access it from the "Direct" tab on the final screen after you've taken a photo, or through the inbox icon in the top right corner of the Home tab.
  • Instagram's video feature works in a similar way to the photo tool, though the filters and frame options are different. Like photos, videos can be shared to all of your followers or to one specific user.

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.