Exploring Photos and Videos

Viewing Photos and Videos

Activity helps you stay up-to-date on recent activity from people you're following.

Tap and then Following at the top to see activity from people you follow. Tap You to see the most recent activity for you, including people who've started following you, @ mentions for you and likes and comments on your photos and videos. Note that the Following tab won't work for those who follow more than 1000 people.

Your activity on Instagram will be displayed in Following for anyone who follows you. If your account is set to private, only the people you've approved to follow you will see your activity.

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Apple iOS

Tap the status bar at the top of your screen (where the time and battery level are displayed), or double tap automatically scroll to the top of your Activity.

Android

Tap the blue Instagram bar at the top of the app, or double tap to automatically scroll to the top of your Activity.

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We’re always working to update the types of photos and videos you see in Search & Explore to better tailor it to you. Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like. You may also see Featured video channels, which are curated to include things we think the Instagram community will enjoy.

Learn more about what you can do if you see posts you don't like in Search & Explore.

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If you see a post in Search & Explore, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is seeing it. We’re always working to update the types of posts you see in Search & Explore to better tailor it to you. For example, we may show you photos and videos that people you follow have liked or are liked by a large number of people.

If your account is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see photos you've shared in Search & Explore.

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When a post has been tagged with a hashtag, you'll be able to tap the hashtag to see a page that shows all photos and videos people have shared publicly with that hashtag. Hashtag pages appear in the app and on the web.

If your account is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see photos you've shared and tagged on hashtag pages.

Learn more about using hashtags.

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When someone adds a location to a post, you can tap the location name to see a place page that shows all photos and videos people have shared publicly with that location. Place pages appear in the app and on the web.

If your account is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see your photos on place pages.

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Some accounts, like alcohol brands, post content that’s meant for older audiences. These accounts may choose to restrict their content to Instagrammers who are over a certain age. To determine whether you're able to see a restricted account, we may use information you provide on Instagram or on Facebook (our parent company).

You may need to update your Instagram app to the most recent version to see restricted accounts.

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When you turn on post notifications for someone you follow, you'll get a notification every time they post a photo or video. To turn post notifications on or off:

  1. Go to their profile
  2. In the top right, tap on iOS or on Android
  3. Tap Turn on Post Notifications or Turn off Post Notifications

To turn post notifications on or off for multiple people, you'll have to visit each profile and turn them on or off individually. People aren't notified when you turn post notifications on or off for them.

Learn more about managing your notification settings.

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Liking Photos and Videos

Just double tap a photo or video to like it or tap below the post. If you’ve accidentally liked a post, tap again to unlike it.

When you unlike a post, the story that you liked the photo or video will disappear from Activity. If the person who shared the post has push notifications turned on, they'll still get the notification that you liked the photo or video.

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Commenting on Photos and Videos

Reply to someone in a comment thread by mentioning them in your comment. They'll get a notification in their activity feed to view the comment.

When using Instagram on your iPhone or iPad, press and hold a username in any comment thread to automatically start a comment with that username already mentioned.

This feature isn't available right now on Android.

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Apple iOS

Yes, you can use your phone's built-in emoji (on iOS 5) or download an emoji app.

Keep in mind that Instagram doesn't offer emoji from the app. If you're having trouble seeing emoji, try these troubleshooting tips.

Android

Emoji aren't available on Android and won't be visible when other people use them, with the exception of the heart and airplane icons.

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Searching for Photos and Videos

Instagram saves searches in Search & Explore to make it easier for you to find your favorite accounts and hashtags again quickly. To clear your search history:

  1. Tap
  2. In the top right, tap on Android or on iPhone
  3. Scroll down and then tap Clear Search History

Keep in mind that clearing your search history is temporary, and that searches you clear may reappear in your history after you search for them again.

You can also hide individual accounts, hashtags or places to permanently remove them from your search history and keep them from reappearing:

  1. Tap and then tap the search bar at the top of the screen
  2. Below Top or Recent, tap and hold the search you'd like to hide from your history
  3. Tap Hide
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To view the 300 most-recent posts you've liked, go to your account settings in the app and then tap Posts You've Liked. You won't be able to view posts you've liked on the web.

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