PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Earlier this month Facebook finalized a deal to buy Instagram for what was rumored to be hundreds of millions of dollars. The deal has made many people far more aware of Instagram. So what is it and how do we use it?
NEWS CENTER'S Social Media coordinator, Brett Whitmarsh, walks us through it.
So what exactly is Instagram?
It's a social media network specifically for sharing photos, but you use it as a free app on a mobile device. Think of it as Twitter for photos. Unlike other social media sites, you don't go to Instagram's website and share a photo. You need to download the app on either your Android or Apple device and then use it for sharing.
But you can use it on other social media?
Yes, you can tell Instagram to post your photos on Facebook, Twitter and even Flicker, Tumblr and FourSquare -- or you can just keep them on Instagram.
When you first launch the app, you will see some samples of the service. Set up your user name and password and when you do that it will give you the chance to link it to both your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Overall the social network of Instagram acts a lot like Twitter, but before we go there, let me show you how to take a picture with it. This is the part people love.
-Right in the center of the app is the camera icon. Once you tap it --- it looks like a regular camera app, but beefed up.
-You can take a picture... or you can choose a picture from your photo library.
-Once you have your image selected you can play with the filters. These are way to make the photo look "old timey" or put border on it like a polaroid, or add a blur effect to make it more dramatic.
-Check the check mark when you're done and from here you can share it.
-Add a comment and then choose the other networks to share it with. At this point you can tag other people that are on Instagram.
So can we connect it to Facebook or Twitter automatically?
Yes, if you are comfortable with Twitter settings, the functions will look a lot like that. If we look at the settings, you can see all the social networks that you can link with and you can also see an option here to keep your images private. Also as you take photos with the app, you can choose whether to save it to your library or not.
What if I want to just use the Instagram social network. How does it work?
There are things here that both Facebook and Twitter uses will find familiar. There is a "like" button and a comment button. There is also a spot to use hashtags or to map out the locations of your photos like FourSquare. You can find people posting photos near you, or you can email a photo to someone who is not on Instagram or share a link that someone can look at it.