21 Do’s & Don’ts of Instagram

by Tamara on July 23, 2012

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[UPDATE! Check out the follow-up post – 10 More Don'ts of Instagram.]

I've mentioned before how much I love Instagram (it's the main reason why I switched to the iPhone), but I get frustrated sometimes when I'm looking at my photo stream.  Just like with Facebook (stop sending me application requests) and Twitter, I've developed some pet peeves when it comes to Instagram.  So, before I go unfollowing people, I thought that I would offer my do's and don'ts of Instagram:


  • Do take interesting photos.
  • Don't take boring photos (no one liking or commenting is a sign). 
  • Do participate in Photo-A-Day challenges. 

  • Don't take each day's challenge so literally (if the day's challenge is "Cup" don't post a photo of a red Solo cup sitting on a table.  Boring!  I'm not following you for that).
  • Do be creative with each day's challenge.
  • Don't feel the pressure to actually post everyday of the challenge (it's ok if you aren't inspired that day).
  • Do post photos (you would think this would be obvious, but there are some people who are following hundreds of people, but have not posted 1 of their own photos. #lurking).
  • Don't post 100 photos a day (you can't possibly be seeing that many post-worthy things in one day. You're just cluttering up people's photo streams). 
  • Do take photos of yourself (especially if you're having a great hair or makeup day.  Plus it's a way for people to get a glimpse into your life – like your very own reality show). 
  • Don't make every photo a picture of your face. 

  • Do have fun with filters.
  • Don't post blurry photos (throwing a filter on a blurry photo is not what Instagram is about).
  • Do be social (comment on and like other people's photos.  It's a social network.  It's not all about you). 
  • Don't be an Instagram groupie and like EVERY photo someone posts (your "likes" will mean nothing after a while.  "Like" a photo when you really do like it.). 
  • Do use hash tags so people who aren't already following you can find your photos (#ootd, outfit of the day, is one of my favs).
  • Don't use hash tags that have absolutely nothing to do with the photo you posted just so it will come up in popular searches (unless you're wearing that red Solo cup, don't use the #ootd hash tag). 
  • Do regram or repost interesting photos (be sure to give the person credit if you're reposting someone's original photo). 
  • Don't forget to mention a user if you're replying to one of their comments on your own photo or someone else's photo to make sure that they actually see your comment (press on their name by their comment until the box pops up asking if your want to mention the user or go to the user.  It isn't necessary to mention the person whose photo you're commenting on.  They will automatically receive notification that you commented on their photo.).
  • Do add captions to your photos.
  • Don't make your account private (I like to preview your photos before deciding if I want to follow you, especially if I don't know you).
  • Do follow me on Instagram – BlitzAndGlam (you didn't think I would write this post and not self-promote, did you?). 

What are some of your Instagram tips and pet peeves?

(Images 1 and 2)