Social media is a warm gathering place, allowing people of all generations to connect, communicate, and share mutual interests. Pop culture has misunderstood the paced adoption of social media by seniors, mistakenly labeling it as something only a younger generation can use and benefit of. Nevertheless, it turns out that many seniors are adapting and learning how to use sites like Instagram, or Facebook and Twitter.
In this post, I try to answer, in the clearest way possible, some of the most common (and basic) questions seniors might have about Instagram when trying to use it for the first time.
This is a step-by-step guide on how start using and benefiting from this awesome social media tool.
* If you are looking for some other clarifications about Instagram, read our post “Instagram for Beginners: 10 questions you might have”.
1. How to Create an Account on Instagram?
As stated on Instagram website, there are two ways of creating an Instagram account, from your phone or from your computer.
To create an Instagram account from the app:
- Download the Instagram app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android).Once the app is installed, tap to open it.
- Tap Sign Up With Email or Phone Number (Android) or Create New Account (iPhone), then enter your email address or phone number (which will require a confirmation code) and tap Next. You can also tap Log in with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account.
- If you register with your email or phone number, create a username and password, fill out your profile info and then tap Done. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out.
To create an Instagram account from a computer:
- Go to instagram.com.
- Enter your email address, create a username and password or click Log in with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account.
- If you register with an email, click Sign up. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out.
2. How to Choose an Username on Instagram?
Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to choose a username.Your username will display publicly and will be what people see when they find you on Instagram. So make sure the username you choose is recognizable and is as close to your business or organization’s name as possible.
In addition, when signing up, Instagram will also ask for your full name.Here, you can put your full name which will make it easier for people to find you through Instagram’s search function.
3. How to Update your Profile on Instagram?
Instagram lets you fill out a 150 character bio about you. You can write a concise paragraph telling who you are or you can leave it blank.
4. How to Add a Profile Picture on Instagram?
Again, you can add a photo of yourself or anything else, or even leave it blank. But if you choose to add a picture, you can take a photo right away with Instagram or you can download an existing one. But your profile photo can only be updated on a mobile device. The perfect Instagram profile photo will be 400×400 pixels.
5. How to Make my Instagram Account Private?
When you create a new account on Instagram, the default setting is public, meaning anyone can see your pictures. With a private account, friends and family will still be able to find you, but they will need to request access to follow you and view your photos. This is what your profile will look like to a stranger if you have you are private:
If you want make your account private, you’ll need to go into your settings.
To change your settings, tap “Edit Your Profile.” On this page, you can change any of your personal or private info – your name, email address, password and profile photo. You’ll need to scroll to the very bottom to change your privacy settings. Tap the slider next to “Post are Private” to change your profile to private.
When you’re done editing your profile, tap the green “Done” at the top. You’ll be asked to confirm your privacy settings next. Tap “Yes, I’m sure.”
6. How to Understand How Instagram Works?
It might not sound fun, but without having a good understanding of the type of pictures others are posting, you won’t know what content tends to do well. Start by finding people or interesting topics you want to follow. What do they tend to send? Have fun checking out profiles, Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories!
7. How to Find People to Follow on Instagram?
Before you share your first photo, Instagram will ask you to find other people to follow. You don’t have to do this right away (just tap skip at the bottom), but it’s a good idea to start off by following at least a few people you know. You can either log into Facebook at this time or allow Instagram to search your contacts.
8. How to View Friends’ Photos on Instagram?
To see what friends and family members have been posting, you’ll want to access your feed. Just like on Facebook, your homescreen is your feed. Just click on the house icon at the bottom of your screen on the left, and you’ll see a stream of photos that people you follow have posted, along with comments people have made and “likes.”
9. How to Share a Photo on Instagram?
On the bottom of your screen, in the center, you’ll see a blue square. Tap that to take a photo.
Once you take a photo, you’ll see a new screen with balloons at the bottom and different names. These are Instagram filters – they can brighten the colors of your photo and make it look more artistic. Try out different filters to see how your photo looks.
Once you’re satisfied with how your photo looks and have picked a filter you like (or you can just go with “NORMAL” and not use a filter at all), hit Next at the top right of your screen.
Here you can add a caption for a photo. You have a few other options like adding a location or sharing your photo to Facebook or other social networks, but none of these steps are required.
After you finish writing your caption, tap “share,” and voila: Your photo is shared.
If you want, you can also email the photo to friends and family or delete it entirely; to choose other options, look for the three horizontal dots to the bottom right of the photo. Tap that and select your option.
10. How to View Your Instagram Photos?
Tap the icon that looks like a boxy camera on the bottom right of your screen. Right now you’ll only see one or two photos there. Once you start sharing more photos, you’ll be able to see all of them here.
11. What to do on the Explore Page on Instagram?
On the bottom left of your screen, look for a star. Tap that to visit the explore page.
In the search bar at top, you can type in the name of someone you’re looking for, such as a friend or family member. You can also search for brands to follow on Instagram.
12. How to Find Facebook Friends or Contacts?
On the bottom right of your screen, tap the rectangle. This will take you to your profile. Tap the gear at the top right. At the top of this screen, you can find people to follow by either connecting your Facebook account or by allowing the app to access your contacts.
13. How to Find Instagram-Recommended Accounts to Follow?
Tap the heart on the bottom of your screen and then tap the green “Find friends to follow” button.
Once again, you’ll be prompted to connect to your Facebook account or connect to your contacts. On the bottom of this screen, tap “Instagram Suggested” to see some suggestions. Off the bat, these will likely not be people you know. These accounts are of famous photographers or publications that have several thousands of followers – and since so many other people like these accounts, Instagram thinks you might like them, too. Tap a name to check out their photos, and tap the blue plus sign to follow them and add their photos to your feed.
As you begin to follow people, Instagram will get smarter with its recommendations for you. Similar to Facebook, the app will start looking for people you have in common with the friends you already follow and will begin to recommend those.
14. How to Browse Topics on Instagram?
You can also pull up photos by topic – Instagram uses hashtags, just like Twitter. Go to Explore by tapping the star at the bottom of your screen. Then click on the light gray “Hashtag” button under the search bar. In the search bar, enter a hashtag and all the photos that people have hashtagged will come up. Click on any of the results that come up, and you’ll be taken to a stream of photos.
Sometimes, a company or organization will run a hashtag activity. They’ll ask all their followers to post Instagram photos around a particular topic during during a set time period, and add a specific hashtag. It’s a way of creating an Instagram community.
15. How to “Like”, “Tag” and Other Instagram Tips & Tricks
Once you get comfortable posting photos, following people you know and using the app, here are a few “pro user” tips you can try
- To “like” a photo, simply double tap it. If you liked a photo by mistake, you can double tap to unlike it.
- You can identify someone you follow in a photo by “tagging” them. After you add a caption you can search the list of people you follow to select who you’d like to tag.
- You can add a location to a photo. After you add a caption, tap “Add location” and search nearby locations.
- Click the star on the bottom left of your screen to “explore.” You can look for other Instagram users by name or search different themes by searching hashtags.
- You can also use Instagram to film 15-second videos.
Beginners Books for Instagram‘ New Users
- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram For Seniors For Dummies
- My Social Media for Seniors
- Everything You Need to Know about Social Media: Without Having to Call A Kid
- My Internet for Seniors
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