Instagram is essentially a photo-sharing social network.
People on Instagram post photos as updates. Like other social networks, users will have a newsfeed which will feature images which have been posted by those they follow.
An Instagram user will have a list of people they follow and a list of people who follow them.
Following someone means you can see the photos they have posted.
Users can also search for different things using hashtags. Like Twitter, people will put a hashtag on their photo as a way for other people to find it easily.
Instagram was created for mobile phones, but has also expanded to the web. Previously, users' profiles existed only on Instagram's mobile applications accessed on the iPhone or Android devices.
Instagram's calling card is the photo filter, a digital layer that, when added to a standard photo, gives it the appearance of professional editing.
Some filters enhance the colours in a photo, while other dull the light to a soft glow for an aged, vintage appearance.
The mobile app boasts more than 50 million users worldwide.
You will need a smartphone or tablet to download the Instagram app to register for an account.
Instagram accounts are public by default but you can change your settings to make it private.
Once registered you can add a profile photo and information about yourself.
You can also link your Instagram account to other social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr _ each time you load a photo you can choose to share it on your other networks.
To load a photo click the blue camera button in the middle of the app.
Instagram defaults to your device's camera so you can take a picture or choose to load one from your device.
Once a photo has been selected choose a filter and when ready select the green tick _ a caption can then be added to the photo explaining where it was taken and what it is of.
People often use hashtags as a way to gain more followers on Instagram, popular hashtags include: #picoftheday, #bestoftheday, #instagood, #beautiful and #instagramer.