Beginner’s Guide to Instagram – All You Need to Know in 2023

Beginner’s Guide to Instagram-All You Need to Know

According to Instagram stats, there were about 1 billion users on Instagram in 2020. However, many people don’t know what Instagram is and how to deal with it yet. So, is Instagram for dummies, too (no offense)? 

The answer is yes. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get practical and straightforward information about Instagram. The simple tips that make Instagram comfortable for dummies should address these questions:

What are the basics of Instagram? How should you deal with this complex platform? What’s following, liking, commenting, and so on? How can you leverage Instagram for your life? And many other questions. 

We will answer all these questions, so you know how to use Instagram for beginners. 

Setting Up Your Account 

Download The App

Since this blog is about Instagram for complete beginners, we will start every step from scratch. So if you already know how to signup and use your account, skip these steps. Start setting up an Instagram account by downloading the app. It’s available for any standard web browser on Google Play, App Store, and on the web. If you choose only the last one, you won’t need to install anything. However, the other two need installation. 

Signup For An Account 

After installing the app, you should make an account by signing up. The process is straightforward:

Firstly, you should choose whether to create an account by email or phone number. Secondly, you’ll need to get a confirmation code and send it to Instagram. Finally, adding information about yourself and uploading a profile photo will complete the job. When using Instagram for dummies, your account is public by default, but we will show you how to change it on settings. 

Complete Your Bio

After signing up on Instagram, it’s time complete and optimizes your bio. For personal and professional accounts, this space includes

A display username: 35 characters

  • Bio section: 150 characters to describe yourself and your business
  • Page category (only business accounts)
  • One external link (it’s clickable)
  • Contact information ( Call to action buttons for business accounts)
  • Profile pic 110*110pixels with 1:1 aspect ratio

Switch To Personal (Public)

When creating an Instagram account, the platform will ask for your age. If you are under 18, your account is private by default, but if you are older, it’s public. These two accounts have different privacy options. Everyone can view your posts and stories on public pages, like them, and leave comments, but for private accounts, they need to send a request and wait for your approval. You can change your account type from settings anytime you want. Follow these simple steps on Instagram for dummies to switch an account from public(private) to private(public):

Different Instagram Content Types 

How To Share Instagram Posts

The most important practice of how Instagram works for beginners is knowing how to share posts. Instagram started its career by sharing posts, so it’s fundamental for dummies to learn it. 

First, you’d better know you can create a post by clicking/tapping the plus sign in the middle of the bottom line. However, it’s not the only way; you don’t need to know more now. You must understand that you can’t post to your feed without pictures or videos. So, always prepare a photo and then start to share it. The good news is that Instagram allows you to add photo filters and provides you with simple editing tools. Another cool feature you can try is sharing multiple photos/videos in one post, called the Instagram carousel. 

 After setting your picture, there is a chance to complete it with a good caption. Instagram doesn’t let you write more than 2200 characters (approximately 380 words) in the caption. So, try not to tell a long story. In case your captions seem excessively lengthy, try using text summarizers, which are online tools that can generate brief summaries while retaining the essence of the text.

You can tag your location or other accounts that you’ll learn about it a little later in this article. 

Note: Try sharing high-quality pictures with a little caption; they are simple & lovely.

Share Videos

Instagram has had a long journey through establishing new feed-sharing features and formats. Here are the final Instagram for dummies video tips for 2023. You can share videos less than one minute long as a post on your feed to photo albums. If it’s longer than that, Instagram will convert it to an IGTV video. But in recent years, and with the rise of Instagram reels, most videos can only be shared as reels.

 Note: You can combine videos and pictures in multiple-slide posts. 

Instagram Reels

If you are familiar with TikTok videos and are a fan of them, you will like Instagram reels too. Reels are new types of video content on Instagram that allow you to create fun and enjoyable short videos set to soundtracks. 

To create and share your first Instagram reels for dummies, open your Stories camera from your feed page and choose the Reel option from the bottom menu.

  • From the left menu, tap the music gallery icon to access trend pieces of music.
  • Set your video direction: 15,30,60 or 90 seconds.
  • Use trend filters and stickers and tap next.
  • On the next page, you can tag people, add locations, and write captions. Then you have the option to share the video immediately or save it as a draft for later.
create instagram reels

IGTV (Instagram Television)

Our Instagram dummies guide for videos will only be complete with introducing IGTV. If you don’t want to partition your videos on Instagram by sharing them slide by slide, you’ll need IGTV. An IGTV post is video-type content whose maximum length is 15 minutes. When you select a video to share, Instagram asks you whether you want to share it as IGTV. However, you can upload for up to 60 minutes if you have a business account. Besides, if you go on live on Instagram, you can store it as IGTV up to four hours. So, don’t get shocked if you see a 4-hour IGTV.

Instagram Story Guide For Beginners

It was in August 2016 that Instagram launched Instagram stories that formally admitted it was a copy from Snapchat. But what’s an Instagram story, after all?

If you want to share a post only for 24 hours and then it disappears after that, your post should be a story. So, Instagram stories are not permanent and won’t be available after a day. Thus, you can share content about daily events in a story format.

Here is how to share Instagram stories for beginners. 

 When you’re on the homepage of your Instagram, you can swipe right or just simply tap your photo on the top left of the screen. Then, you can share a photo by taking a picture or selecting it from your gallery. However, Instagram has made it possible to create more on story mode. 

AR Filters

Although it may not be an Instagram for dummies tip, using AR (Augmented Reality) filters is just fantastic. Seeing a dog’s ears and nose on yourself and taking a photo of it and not even sharing it is interesting enough. You can search for more filters like the following picture.

Instagram Story Stickers

Different types of stickers on Stories allow you to create fun and creative content. To access story stickers, tap the smiley face icon at the top of your uploaded story. In the opened window, you can choose from different options:

  • Poll stickers: Perfect for asking your followers’ opinions between multiple options to find out what content they like more. 
  • Question box stickers: Run Q&As to interact with your audience.
  • Link stickers: You can connect each story to an external link for those with more than 10k followers or verified accounts. 
  • “Add Yours” stickers: Perfect for creating a trend and asking others to join it. 
  • Emoji Slider: Ask people to rate your photo/video using this sticker. 
  • Countdown Sticker: Make a reminder for your followers about the upcoming event/post/campaign/giveaway. 

Instagram Direct Messages (DMS)

If you swipe left from your feed on Instagram, you can see a chatbox where you can privately chat with others. So, if you’ve heard about Direct Messages, it’s this chatting on Instagram. 

You can’t send more than 1000 characters (approximately 190 words) in only one DM before sending. So, consider this limit, and try to separate your text. As you may know, Instagram doesn’t allow you to share links that direct you out of Instagram in captions and comments. However, it’s not the same on DMs.

Moreover, you can create groups for chatting and video conferencing through Instagram DM.

Primary And General Messages

If you open the DM inbox on a business account, you can see that the space differs. Your inbox is divided into three sections; requests, primary and general messages. Here is the Instagram beginners guide about each of these options: 

  • Primary messages: This tab belongs to messages you want to see first. All messages will appear here, but you can quickly swipe them into the general tab. 
  • General messages: In this tab, you can see the messages you would like to get back to them later. You won’t get a notification for unread messages in this tab, but you can turn them on from your settings.
  • Requests: Here, you can see the messages you receive from users that you don’t follow. Once you accept their message request, it will move to the primary tab.  

Instagram Actions

Follow & Unfollow

Now that you know different parts of the Instagram app let’s see what are the basics of Instagram to use it correctly.  

If you’re new to Instagram, don’t worry because Instagram for dummies is not meaningless. The first thing you should know about Instagram is that it’s a social media platform. So, if you share a post, there should be viewers. And as long as you don’t have followers who follow your feed and stories, no one will check on you. That’s where the idea of following and unfollowing comes from. If you add your Facebook account to your IG, there will be many suggestions for you to follow from familiar faces. But, all in all, you can choose who to follow and who to unfollow. 

Can you restrict others from seeing you? Yes, you can block others or restrict them so that they won’t be able to chat with you. 

Follow only a few people because Instagram recognizes this as spam-like behavior. So, you should know about the follow and unfollow limits

Note: If you’ve heard about the follow4follow strategy, you should know its side effects and tips.

Likes & Comments

How will you react to expressing your opinion about a post? Instagram allows reacting in two ways. Tapping the heart button (a fixed parameter for each feed post) will show you like it. Another Instagram tips for beginners is to like a post by tapping it twice. 

Or you can comment on that content and how you loved it. However, if you don’t like a post, you only can comment on it. Like captions, you cannot write more than 2200 characters as a comment. However, replying to your previous comment may fit you if you want to write more than the limit. To know more about limits on Instagram likes and comments, see daily limits.

Save Instagram Posts

You can save the post in the app if you see a photo/video on your feed page or Instagram explore page. To save content, open the post and tap the “Save” button at the bottom right corner of the content.

For reels and IGTV videos, you need to tap the three-dot icon and then select “Save’. To view the saved posts follow these steps:

  • Log into your Instagram account and go to your profile.
  • Tap the three-line icon at the top-right corner of your screen.
  • Select “Saved Posts.”

React To Stories

In Instagram for dummies cheat sheet, we should you how to interact with posts by liking them and leaving comments. But how to interact with stories? There are two ways to interact with stories:

  • Reply to a story using the mini chat option under them. The creator will receive your message as a DM in their inbox. 
  • React to stories using emojis: The platform suggests a couple of reaction emojis by tapping the mini chat option under a story. You can change these emoji options in your story settings. 

Mentioning And Tagging

There are three different things on Instagram that all Instagram dummies should know about it. They are mentioning, tagging, and hashtagging.

Instagram Mention: If you write down another account’s username with a @ at the first of it on captions and comments, you mention them. They will be aware of it through Instagram notifications and may react to it. 

Another mention is by writing their name using @ in your story. Your story will be sent to their DM as well as a simple notification they get.

Instagram Tag: When creating a feed post, you can select a point of your pictures and then tag it with another account. You can watch the posts you’re tagged in this section.

Instagram Hashtags

 One of the great features of Instagram is its hashtag. Since Instagram wants you to stay on Instagram, it launched a feature that tracks your posts with its explorer. 

For example, you write “Instagram for dummies” with a hashtag sign (#InstagramForDummies) in your post’s caption. Then, If someone who may not be your follower searches for this entry, your post will probably be among the other posts in the result. 

In the latest Instagram algorithm, trend and niche hashtags can put your content in interested users’ feed pages without them following you. So if you want to maximize your reach, make sure to use Instagram hashtags correctly. You can include up to 30 hashtags in a caption and even more in the comments. 

Note: If you’ve heard about Instagram trends, it’s related to hashtags.

 How Should You Share Your Content?

In the first place, you should define your presence on Instagram. Is it just for fun? Are you going to market your business? Is it for media and news? 

Whatever your goal is, you may want active followers and more engagement about your posts. Using hashtags is a straightforward thing you should apply to your content sharing. Use hashtags for your posts (feed, story, IGTV). Another basic is to use a short and effective caption. 

If you want to focus on a niche, don’t ruin it by sharing unrelated content. And remember to promote your feed posts with your stories.

What Should You Post First on Instagram?

Your first posts should introduce you and your niche. Try to be captivating by using very eye-catching, high-quality photos and captions. Don’t criticize any accounts and show your criticizable manner. 

Beautiful posts with open captions will absorb more audience and engagement. And it’s very critical for your first presence.

You can also find the best times for sharing the posts on Instagram and optimize your content to maximize your reach. 

Instagram Tools (Bonus Tip)

All tips mentioned above will help handle Instagram for dummies. However, there are easier ways. Instagram is a great tool, but it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. So, many companies have done their best to help Instagram users with Instagram flaws.


AiGrow homepage

If you searched for the best Instagram tools in 2021, you will find AiGrow. AiGrow is a web-based tool with the most straightforward possible mechanism. Sign up for free, add your Instagram account, then you’re ready to go. But what can you do with AiGrow?

With AiGrow:

  • A dedicated account manager will design your content and work with your organic Instagram growth and engagement.
  • You can monitor your mentioned posts and the posts with specific hashtags.
  • An Instagram scheduler is at your service. You can schedule your posts (feed, story, IGTV) via its dashboard. 
  • You can prepare yourself for upcoming events using an extraordinary social calendar. 
  • Running giveaways and contests will be super easy because AiGrow has contest templates for scheduling such posts. 
  • Instagram DM automation and auto-reply are possible. 
  • You can sit and rest and watch your Instagram flies.

In AiGrow, you can start your growth process by booking a Free walk-through meeting with AiGrow experts. They will help you with planning a winning strategy for your page.


Is Instagram for dummies? Of course, if you learn the basics, nothing is impossible. So, first of all, be more familiar with the world you’re going to walk into. And then learn how to use them to your advantage. 

This article showed you how to use Instagram for beginners and access different tools. 

However, the best way is to have a professional companion. And who is better than AiGrow? If you don’t want details and want to use a great and easy tool to run your Instagram, you’d better try AiGrow. 


How do beginners use Instagram?

If you still need to make an account on Instagram, here is what you should do.

  • Download the app from Google Play or The App store. You can also open the Instagram website on any browser.
  • Signup on the platform using your email address or phone number.
  • Switch your page to public or private.
  • Choose between personal, business, and creator accounts.
  • Complete your bio and add a profile pic.
  • Now your account is all set, and you can start following users and sharing content. 
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