Things to know before getting started

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media network that allows users to share content on other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

Target Audience

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How It Works

  • Instagram officially launched on October 6, 2010 as an iPhone app. (It’s now both iPhone and Android).
  • To compete with Twitter’s Vine, Instagram released a 15 second video component to their platform on June 20, 2013.
  • You can connect through other social media platforms:Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr.
  • The social aspect is that you “follow” other users and in return users follow you.

Best Practices

The more frequent you post, the better. Because posts are pictures, people can look at many posts at a time.


  • Most pictures on Instagram are staged. It can be easy for some viewers to see the “perfect” person, eating “perfect” food in the “perfect” setting, etc. Often the pictures don’t capture the real story behind the photo — that perhaps the photo took 10 minutes of staging, many people, and multiple attempts at preparing the recipe to snap the shot.
  • Be aware that your photo and post may not have its intended consequences. What you may use to “inspire” may cause “that’s not realistic” and disinterest.


Allowable Content

Photos and words. Photo help:


  • Number you can follow- 7500
  • Number of hashtags per post- 30
  • Username can’t exceed 30 characters
  • Bio can’t exceed 150 characters
  • Captions in posts 2200 characters
  • No limit on number of posts per day
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Specific Uses within EFNEP and SNAP-Ed

  • Since Instagram is picture-focused, it would be vital to have high-quality pictures. Pictures of food, whether stand-alone or as a pictorial recipe, and/or pictures of physical activity make sense to use within our programs. With the picture of the recipe, you would want to include a link to the recipe on a blog or related website.
  • Try to avoid taking a snapshot of the “perfect”. Avoid clutter and any extraneous items but make considerations to what is in the picture and who the intended audience is.

What’s New?

Instagram Stories (launched August 2016)