Instagram 101

How To: Use Facebook Messenger's Hidden 'Vanish Mode' for Disappearing Messages Whenever You Want

Saving a chat's history is useful for finding valuable information later on or just reliving a favorite conversation from the past. Sometimes, however, it's good to delete chat threads, and it's even better to have them auto-delete right after you see new messages. While some apps have had disappearing messages for some time (e.g. Snapchat), Facebook Messenger now has it too with "Vanish Mode."

How To: Temporarily Disable Your Instagram Account When You Need to Take an #InstaBreak

When you don't want certain friends viewing your account or just need to take a break from social media, Instagram lets you do so. While you can completely delete your Instagram account, then start over when you're ready again, it makes much more sense to just disable your account temporarily. Doing so will hide your profile, photos, comments, and likes from everyone, including your friends.

How To: Add Self-Generating Captions to Your Instagram Stories So You Don't Have to Type Them in Manually

When creating video content for social media, such as a story on Instagram, it's common practice to add captions or subtitles to the post so that people can watch it wherever they are on silent. Doing this by hand is time-consuming and frustrating, but Instagram has a solution: a feature to add automatically-generated captions to any story you make from your iPhone or Android phone.

How To: Download Instagram Reels on Your iPhone for Offline Use, Better Playback Control, and More

Downloading content from TikTok is relatively easy, even if the video is protected, but the same can't be said of Reels, Instagram's version of short-form videos. Instagram doesn't make it easy to download content unless it's your own, and that's especially true with Reels. However, there is a way to bypass Instagram's restrictions on your iPhone and save videos locally without ever leaving the app.

How To: View, Share, Highlight & Download Your Archived Instagram Stories

In late-2017, Instagram rolled out a feature that automatically saves your ephemeral Stories to a private archive. Before that, Stories disappeared into the ether after 24 hours, but not everyone was comfortable losing these precious photos and videos. If you post to Instagram Stories quite often, you can now easily access your history from your account — and you might not even know it.

Coming Soon: Share Instagram Comments in Direct Messages, Stories, or Other Apps

Sometimes, you'll see a comment on Instagram that you really need to share. Maybe it's something funny, possibly offensive. Whatever the case, the only thing to do is screenshot it and share that, right? Hopefully, not for long. Instagram is currently testing a feature that would allow you to share comments with others via a direct message and maybe even to stories and other apps.

How To: 15 Hidden Instagram Features You Don't Want to Miss

On the surface, Instagram is pretty intuitive, so you might think that you already know everything there is to know about using it on your iPhone or Android phone. But this photo and video-sharing app is constantly adding new features, some of which don't make the press releases. Even if you're an Instagram guru, chances are you've missed one of these hidden goodies.

How To: Unsend Voice Messages in Instagram Direct

So, you accidentally sent a voice message to someone in an Instagram DM. Maybe it contains an unflattering conversation about the recipient. Maybe it's a record of something embarrassing you said. Whatever your message contains, it's out there, on someone else's smartphone. You might think you're out of luck, and that your life is over. If you act quick, however, it won't be.

How To: Use Custom Background Colors & Translucent Overlays in Instagram Stories

On Instagram, you can write text over any picture or video in your Story, but it may be hard to get your message across with a distracting background. Although there is a "Type" option for Stories, which allows you to write text over colorful gradient backgrounds, the selection is limited to just over twenty options, and there are no options for solid colored backgrounds or translucent overlays.

How To: Share Your Friends' Instagram Stories in Your Own Story

Instagram has long-resisted easily resharing content. While it's been testing a "regram" feature for a long time, it still lags behind apps such as Twitter and Facebook when it comes to resharing content. But while Instagram is a bastion of original material, there is a feature in place for you to reshare stories from those you follow. Your friends can reshare your stories too.

How To: Create Your Own Augmented Reality Filter for Instagram Stories Using Spark AR on Mac or Windows

There's a new trend on Instagram Stories: People are making viral AR filters where images of popular characters from TV shows, movies, and other mediums shuffle above your head until one sticks. The filters range from Disney and Pokémon characters to Harry Potter and Friends, but you're not limited to just that because you can create your own "which are you?" filter.

How To: Use This Text Trick in Instagram Stories to Change Each Character's Color in Seconds

Instagram is all about the hook. If you want followers to stick around, you need to keep your content interesting and engaging. Rainbow text can really make your Stories pop, but it's not really an Instagram "feature," meaning it's not an easy task to accomplish. There is, however, an easy hack that takes all the work out of rainbow-colored text, making your Stories better overall.

How To: Stop Third-Party Apps You Never Authorized or No Longer Use from Accessing Your Instagram Account

Unless you're completely new to Instagram, it's likely that you've linked your account with a third-party service at some point and forgotten about it. Those services still have access to data such as your media and profile information, so it's important that you not only know how to find these "authorized" apps, but that you know how to revoke their permissions.