NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices

Get to know Instagram

Who

Instagram users are “nearly as likely as Facebook users to use the site on a daily basis,” according to Pew Research Center. While there aren’t nearly as many users as Facebook, they are younger. Plus, there’s a lot of cross-posting between Instagram and other social networks — I’m sure you’ve seen an Instagram picture on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr before.

What

NPR and stations have used Instagram for callouts for photos, to share behind-the-scenes looks at public media life, and to share a look at reporting as it happens.

When

Instagram is fun to use as a consumer and producer of images. If you’re going on a reporting trip or want to use Instagram for a particular series, start using it before you leave in order to get used to the app and to start building an audience. Fair warning: scrolling through photos can be addicting!

#snow yes! Let’s go! #amtrak #commute #train

A photo posted by Kainaz Amaria (@kainazamaria) on

Where

Instagram is all about mobile: you can only post on Instagram using the phone app, but you can view images, comment and likes on Instagram.com. You can also search and view photos using third-party tools, such as Websta.me. The site IFTTT has many recipes that will send Instagram photos to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, saving you time in your workflow.

Why

If you’re: doing a photo callout, want to find photos about topics or locations you cover, want to connect with a visual community, or want a place to share images from your phone.

How

New to Instagram? Check out this beginner’s guide from Mashable

Read how the NPR Visuals team does Instagram callouts.


Teresa Gorman is a former member of the NPR Training Team.