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Instagram Etiquette Every User Should Know

Ashmeet Bagga
Video and photo sharing applications and services like Snapchat and Instagram are widely popular today. Instagram has a few hundred million users all over the world. And the number of people fond of 'instagramming' their lives is only increasing.
Did You Know?
Selfie is a trending topic on Instagram. In November 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary declared it as the "word of the year".
Started in the year 2010, by Stanford grads Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram has become an integral part of our lives. To click photos or shoot videos and upload them for friends to see, or to check what's happening in their lives through the pictures they have shared with you, the place to go to is Instagram.
However, you may goof up when using Instagram if you are new or unaware of the rules to follow. It's best to know the dos and don'ts of Instagram before you start using it. What should be shared and what should not? Is it fine to edit photos before sharing them? How to assess the quality of your pictures or videos before posting them? The following sections of this Techspirited article will answer these questions.

Instagram Etiquette

No Photoshopping

What's the point of sharing something on Instagram, if you can't share it the way it actually is? Many celebrities have been accused of using photoshop to make themselves look thinner and flawless. Prefer posting pictures without editing them. They may look unnaturral on being edited.

Use Hashtags Wisely

Although they are a wonderful thing, some people use them so much that their picture is flooded with hashtags. Hashtags let you find a zillion pictures of anything you want.
But using too many of them makes it difficult for the user to read your caption. Many people use them to gain followers. Don't go overboard with hashtags to gain unknown followers. Do you really enjoy strangers liking your pictures?

Don't Share Everything

If you think Instagram is a place meant to post all the pictures you have clicked, then you are truly mistaken. It is a platform developed to share all the beautiful moments in your life, like the day your baby was born, your graduation, your wedding, your vacations, etc.
It is a platform to share pictures which you are most proud of or those you wish to tell your followers about. Photos of awkward moments, gross pictures or videos, and those which don't look good, should not be shared on a platform like Instagram.

Act Matured

Just because you liked somebody's picture, don't expect them to like any of your snaps. Also if you follow somebody, don't hope that the same person would follow you back. And don't un-follow someone just because he does not follow you back.

Not Again

If you want somebody to comment Not Again on your pictures, then feel free to post zillion images of your kids, dogs, cats, and what not. We all have people or things we are so fond of, but that doesn't mean your followers would enjoy them as well. Uploading pictures of the same or similar things too often or sharing too many of them, is not advisable.

Exercise 'Selfie' Control

I hope you guys are not planning to release a book on your selfies, just like Kim Kardashian did. Posting way too many selfies in your account will make people cringe as to why they follow you. Aim the camera towards something else other than your face. Like the beautiful sky, food, or anything else.

Don't Go Overboard

Although you love clicking pictures, don't fill your account with several images in five minutes. People appreciate your work and art but it is downright annoying to keep posting pictures every minute. You may wish to be regular or consistent with posting and/or sharing, but don't do it too frequently.

Avoid Illegal Stuff

There are some things which your followers should not see. The thought of posting porn or drugs might fascinate you, but it is off the hook when it comes to Instagram etiquette. Anything illegal and disgusting should be avoided at all costs. Post pictures that your fans would actually like to see.

Do not Repost every Photo

If you like somebody else's picture, don't repost or regram it, it is considered to be rude. If you wish to, then attribute it under their name. Taking a screenshot and reposting it is not only impolite but illegal too.

Avoid Blurry Photos or Videos

How are people supposed to see if the picture is out of focus? Even if you are trying to apply your photographic skills in the picture, avoid posting blurry pictures or those taken in the dark.

Be Social

This is a no-brainer. Since Instagram is linked to social networking, you have to be interactive and social. But it is a two-way road. Follow your friends, celebrity, or anybody, strike a conversation by commenting something appropriate on their picture.

Other Tips

  • It is a good idea to use the same username for both Twitter and Instagram. The followers for these are mostly common. Using the same handle makes it easier for them to find you.
  • Focus on putting up interesting pictures or enagaging videos rather than fishing for followers. Good photos will automatically earn you more followers.
  • Prefer sharing pictures of the latest events in your life. People want to see what's happening in your life right now. They may not be that interested in pictures or videos of events that happened years ago. For instance, post a picture of where you are right now, and not a photo of where you had been, say, ten years ago.
  • Use Instagram's photographic filters to enhance the look of your pictures.
  • Add good captions to your photos. You may also choose to tag people and locations.
Do not be greedy for followers. Focus or sharing good pictures and videos. Make the uploads interesting with a clever use of tags, captions, and other features that Instagram offers. Be wise, be safe. Let your profile and your uploads represent the true you.