Exploring Photos and Videos
Viewing Photos and Videos
Activity helps you stay up-to-date on recent activity from people you're following.
To see activity from people you follow, tap at the bottom of the screen, then tap Following at the top. To see your recent activity, like people who've followed you or liked your posts recently, tap You. Keep in mind that the Following tab won't work for accounts that 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.
Tap the status bar at the top of your screen (where the time and battery level are displayed), or tap automatically scroll to the top of your Activity.
Tap the blue Instagram bar at the top of the app, or tap to automatically scroll to the top of your Activity.
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 video channels, which can include posts from a mixture of hand-picked and automatically sourced accounts based on topics we think you'll enjoy.
Learn more about what you can do if you see posts you don't like in Search & Explore.
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.
To see a hashtag page, tap a hashtag from below a post (example: #flower).
A hashtag page shows all the public posts that have been shared with that hashtag. Hashtag pages appear both in the Instagram 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.
To see a location page, tap the location that appears above a post.
Location pages show all the public posts that have been shared with that location. Location pages appear both in the Instagram app and on the web.
If your account is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see your photos on location pages.
Some accounts, like alcohol brands, post content that’s meant for older audiences. These accounts may choose to restrict their content to people 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.
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:
- Go to their profile
- In the top right, tap on iOS or on Android
- 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.
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.
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. To reply to someone:
- Swipe your finger to the left over the comment you'd like to reply to
- Tap and enter your reply
On iOS, you can also press and hold a username in any comment thread to automatically start a comment with that username already mentioned.
- Tap the comment or comments you'd like to reply to
- Tap and enter your reply
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.
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.
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:
- Tap to go to your profile
- Tap (iPhone) or (Android) in the top right
- Scroll to the bottom 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:
- Tap and then tap the search bar at the top of the screen
- Below Top or Recent, tap and hold the search you'd like to hide from your history
- Tap Hide