Glossary: Instagram Terms 


This is your account information on Instagram. Your profile consists of your name, username, profile photo, and your photo gallery.

Username: Your username is the name of your account, which people will type to find you, and which is also the address to view your profile online at[username]. 

Bio: The bio section (the area below your name on your profile) is an area designated to writing a 150-character description about yourself or your brand. 

Gallery or Album: Many refer to a user’s collection of photos (posted to their profile) as their feed, gallery or album. 

Newsfeed: Accessed by the home button on the Instagram app, this shows a feed of the images from those you follow as they are uploaded, and so appears in chronological order. 

Post: A post simply refers to an image or video uploaded to Instagram. A post may include a caption, a geo tag and also tags of other users. 

Posts: This is how many photos you, or another user, have posted in total. 

Caption:  This is the description that appears with the post.

Hashtag: Is the symbol ‘#’ before a word or phrase – and will appear in blue. Hashtags allow users to connect with others, and discover images based on a common word or phrase. The hashtag can be put in either the post caption or a comment.  Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post.

Tagging: This term has two meanings. The first is when you post a picture or video that someone appears in or was present for. You can choose the “tag people” option to do this when sharing content.

Filters: A unique combination of different elements: including exposure, color balance, and contrast. Some filters also include frames, and can be added over a photo to the degree you choose. 

Story:  Stories are similar to posts, yet they disappear after 24 hours. You can view others’ at the top of the home screen, or by visiting a user’s profile and pressing on their profile picture when it has a hot pink circle around it. If you would like to post your own story, you can swipe right on your home screen. To see it afterward, press on your own profile picture.

Story Highlights: Story highlights allow you to take your past stories and make them a permanent part of your profile. You can organize separate stories together. For example, I have seen people make story highlights with photos from a recent vacation or special event. When you visit your profile, you should be prompted to add Story Highlights underneath your bio.


Audience: Your audience on social media is the group of people you’re able to reach with your content. This includes all your followers plus anyone who sees or interacts with your posts in their feed. Growing your social media audience is one of the best ways to spread brand awareness.

: Much like many other social media platforms, Instagram is based on followers. A follower is a user who follows your account, and consequently sees every photo you publish on their feed. 

Like: Instagram (like many other social networks) is based on receiving likes, and liking other users’ photos, you like an image by double tapping the image itself, or by clicking the like button to the bottom left of the image. 

: Simply, a user can comment on another user’s, or their own, photo. 

Tagging: The other meaning of tagging is when you comment on a photo or video and you want to address one or more users directly. To do this, you write your comment and write @ with their username following it. As soon as you write an @, a drop-down list of the people you follow should appear below, narrowing down as you type out more of someone’s username. This will direct the user you tag to the post and allow them to view it.

Direct message (DM): A direct message on social media is a private message sent directly to a user’s inbox. DMs exist in contrast to public forms of interaction on social media like commenting on an image or posting on a user’s timeline.


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