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Instagram Basics: Profile, Feed & Stories

Are you finally ready to embrace Instagram but you’re not sure where to start?  Maybe you downloaded the app, followed some friends and family, you even posted a few photos, but don’t quite understand it yet.  Relax, we got you covered.  Here’s the first in a series of many upcoming Instagram tutorials which will cover the basics in manageable segments.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Open up Instagram and look at the icons across the bottom. Click on the circle icon on the far right.

This takes you to your profile page which shows all the photos and videos that you have posted as well as whatever information you have entered about yourself at the top. The information section at the top can be edited by clicking “edit profile” button. Make sure you click ‘done’ in the top right to save your changes before you exit.

When you click on the home button at the bottom on the far left, this shows you all the videos and photos that have been posted by the people who you are following.

Next take a look across the top.

These circles are called the “story” buttons, but not because someone is telling a story. It’s the Instagram term used for temporary videos that are only available for viewing for 24-hours from when they are posted. Each story clip can only be a maximum of 15-seconds long. A creator can post multiple 15-second clips in their story and continue to add to it at any time.  Each individual story will stay there for 24 hours from when it is uploaded.

You can tap through the stories quickly if you don’t want to view the whole 15-second clip by tapping on the right of the screen. If you tapped too quickly or want to go back to revisit a prior one, you can simply tap on the left side of the screen and that will take you back to the previous clip.

If one seems to go by too quickly and maybe there is something you want to read on it, you can press and hold on the screen which freezes the video until you let go allowing you to read whatever text is on there.

While viewing a story, you can click on the username of the story creator which is the at the very top left and this will take you directly to their page where you can view the rest of their content. When you’re done there, simply click the back arrow at the top left to get back to the story where you left off.

When you’re done viewing stories, you can click the “X” at the top right which will take you right back to your home page.

Feeling more savvy already?

Watch this tutorial on video by CLICKING THIS LINK!!

Hope this was helpful!  Check out our Instagram page @hellosocialize for more beginner Instagram tips.



Helen Polise is the CEO and founder of Socialize and the owner and director of a production company that creates content for TV commercials and digital advertising for well-known brands including Blistex, Sensodyne, NFL Alumni, Odor Eaters, and more. You can say hello to her on TikTok as @themuthership where she has attracted 500k+ followers and 3 million “likes” from people across the age spectrum by providing instructional content.