10 fun things to do with Instagram
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Have an iPhone and use it to take photos? Enter the “quirky” photo sharing network and app, Instagram. The iOS-only app currently has a user base of 4.25 million in only seven months, with ten photos being posted a second. Pretty cool. If you’re new to the app or thinking about downloading it, here are some basic (and fun) ways you can jump in:
1. Use a filter. The most basic way to use Instagram. The app comes complete with built-in filters to bring a “nostalgic” feel to your current photos. In fact, the inspiration for Instagram came from Polariod pictures.
2. Participate in a meme. Take a picture of someone else with their iPhone taking a picture for Instagram. A little odd in the real world? Maybe. Odd for Instragram? Nope. Just tag your photo with #metagram.
3. Visually thank your top followers. How? Use the Instragram application, Statigram. To log in, enter your Instragram user name and password. It will take a few minutes to pull up your data, but it’s worth the wait. Once your information appears, scroll down to find your top follower information. Select “Snapshot this” and enter your email address.
4. Edit your photos and create cool effects with other iPhone camera apps. My favorites include: Outcolor, ArtCamera, Photogene, Diptic, Pinhole Cam and ColorSplash. If you didn’t realize it, there’s a lot of editing you can do from your iPhone.
5. Cats, cats and more CATZ. Your furry friend could land you among the “popular” photos on Instragram. Share a photo of your cat at rest, at play or up to no good. Instagrammers seem to love these little fur balls.
6. Follow your favorite brands and organizations. Many times you’ll get cool “behind the scenes” photos and connect with brand managers in a fun environment. A few I follow: Bergdorfs, charity: water, World Health Organization, Soulja Boy, NBC News, CNN, Starbucks and Mashable (yes, it’s a diverse group). You’ll need to search the app for user names to find them. (NOTE: I follow most of the brands on Twitter and was able to locate them from Instragram’s “find friends” feature.)
7. Hashtag it. You might know the hashtag from Twitter and it’s making its way in to other networks. Instragram is no exception. You can add hashtags to your captions and share them on other social networks, like Twitter and Facebook. You can also search for others using the same hashtag. I use this as a way to find other people to follow, especially if the hashtag indicates a shared interest or commonality.
8. Caption this. Offer an opportunity for people in your network to write the caption for your photo or photos. Just include a mention in your own caption to encourage the feedback.
9. Bypass the language barrier. Check out the main Instagram feed and follow people with photos you like. I’ve found many new, international friends I love to interact with merely by “liking” their photos. Although we don’t speak the same language, we do speak universal Instragram.
10. Create a photo series. Perhaps every Friday you post a photo of your favorite sports bobble head in a random location or maybe you’re covering Fashion Week and want to highlight your favorite designers. The possibilities are endless. What do you need to create this? Package them together via a common caption or hashtag.
What’s a fun way you use Instagram?
(Don’t have an iPhone? You don’t need to be left out. Check out PicPlz, available for iPhone and Droid.)