Instagram is a picture-sharing application that is available on mobile and smart devices. This is a social media tool, where users can share photographs and pictures with their ‘followers’. All pictures and photographs that are published on a user’s account are either only shared to all of their ‘followers’, or if the user account is not set to ‘private’ then the pictures can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet who logs on to Instagram. Instagram also has an in-built direct messaging function where individual users who follow each other can send images, pictures, gifs and short videos to one another in a private chatroom. Instagram uses hashtags to promote pictures from different users; so for example, you can search Instagram for ‘pictures of food’ and then the most popular posts with ‘#food’ in the description of the photograph published by a public user are shown in the search results.
- Compatibility: Accessible through computers & mobile devices
- User accounts: Users need to register to be able to use Instagram
- Followers: The user receives requests and has to ‘approve’ a user in order for them to become a follower.
- Post privacy options: Users can choose if their posts are shared publicly or if they are visible only to their ‘followers’.
- Explore: Displays popular photos, photos taken at nearby locations, and a search function. The tab also features trending tags and places, curated content, and the ability for users to search for locations.
- Photographic filters that users can apply to their images. Instagram currently offers users a choice of up to 33 filters for their photographs.
- Photo layouts: Instagram offers a range of layout options which can be accessed through an external application that users download and use in conjunction with the Instagram app: called ‘Instagram Layout’ this app allows users to format how they will present their images.
- Moving images: Instagram also offers users the option to upload a short video and to use a Boomerang function to show short moving images where users record themselves moving for 2-3 seconds and this is then replayed on a loop once uploaded.
- Private messaging: Users can also use the Instagram Direct feature, which lets users interact through private messaging.
- Instagram Stories: This feature allows users to take photos, add effects and layers, and add them to their Instagram story. Images uploaded to a user’s story expire after 24 hours; which is a similar feature to what is available through Snapchat.
Who uses the tool
Privacy & User data
The app collects the following types of information from all users:
- Information users provide directly to Instagram;
- Information to help users to ‘find friends’ on Instagram;
- Analytics information;
- Cookies and similar technologies;
- Log file information;
- Device identifiers;
- Metadata – technical data that is associated with User Content.
The app uses this information to:
- help users to efficiently access their information after they sign in;
- remember information so users will not have to re-enter it during their visit or the next time they visit the Service;
- provide personalized content and information to users, which could include online ads or other forms of marketing
- provide, improve, test, and monitor the effectiveness of Instagram’s Service
- develop and test new products and features
- monitor metrics such as total number of visitors, traffic, and demographic patterns