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Top 10 Instagram Rules for New Users

 Instagram Rules
The floodgates have opened.

We all knew this day would come. We all knew that one day, Instagram would make its way to Android devices. That day is today. With already more than 30 million users, Systrom, the app’s developer, is poised for exponential growth now that it has created an app for android users.

If you’re an Instagram addict like me, you’re probably expecting a few new friend adds from folks on Android … and if you’re as easily annoyed as I am, you’re probably hoping these new users aren’t going to go crazy, filling up your timeline with stuff that doesn’t really belong on the growing social network.

To avoid this quagmire, I’ve created the following list of basic Instagram rules for new users – and a few our old friends who never got the memo. Please share this with anyone you know on Instagram so that all of our experiences can be that much better.

Rule # 10 — Throwback Pics get posted on Thursday and Thursday Only!

Look, we know you have lots of old pics of yourself that you think are absolutely stunning. And we know you wanna share those pics with your new-found Instagram friends. However, those of us who have known you for ages, and have seen all these pictures of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Friendster and Blackplanet – we’re not interested in seeing them again. Especially 8 in a row … on a Monday when we’re trying to scroll our InstaTimeLine and see what folks got into this past weekend. We call it ThrowBackThursday for a reason.

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Rule #9 — Instagram is not Pinterest

Please don’t pin stuff on Instagram. By that I mean, please don’t save a picture of something you saw on the internet to your laptop, email the picture to yourself so that you can pull the picture up on your phone so that you can then add it to Instagram. Again, this is not Pinterest. Nobody wants to see a filtered pic of the tea cups they have on Gilt-Home today.

Rule #8 — Don’t Steal Pics

There are a growing number of pic thieves on Instagram these days. Sometimes pic thieves screen shot pics of stuff other people have instgrammed only to re-instagram it and re-share. We see you, it’s not cool. Another way folks steal pics is by simply recreating the picture for themselves. If you see a girl take a really cute, angled picture of her fresh new pedicure as her feet rest comfortably on her coffee table next to her almost finished, hard cover copy of the Hunger Games, don’t kick off your shoes, grab your copy of Game of Thrones, throw your feet up on the couch and start snapping away. It’s not cool.

Rule #7 — Don’t Be a Like Whore

Look, if you like everything, you like nothing. Every single time you make a new Insta-Friend, you don’t have to go to their page and like every single picture. It’s weird, stalkerish and mildly skeevy. Like most Instagrammers, when I make a new friend, I do go to their page and I do scroll through their old pics, however liking more than one or two of their old pics sends the wrong message. Pick the best two pictures from their catalog, like those and keep it moving. Also – fellas, please note… the “like” button on Instagram is a heart, so you know … be wise about that. You don’t wanna send the wrong message. Or maybe you do, if that’s the case … like away!

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Rule # 6 — #TeamFollowBack Does Not Apply to Instagram

You wanna know when Twitter became wack … when #TeamFollowBack took over. Nowadays, if someone follows you on twitter and you don’t follow back in 23 hours and 59 minutes, they’re unfollowing you. This creates this unspoken stress about twitter. It’s almost like a chore at this point. It also means, you have to deny requests of strangers because you never know if they are following you to follow you, or following you to arbitrarily increase the number of twitter followers they have. From this day forth – #TeamFollowBack does not exist on instagram. As a matter of fact, follower to following ratio doesn’t even matter on instagram. Just enjoy it. Don’t start over-thinking it.


Rule #5 — Don’t Be A Perv

Instagram has this thing called a time line. It works similar to Facebook’s time line where you can see everything your friends have liked and shared. So fellas, if you go around to the accounts of every SI swimsuit model and video vixen you can find and like their most scandalous pictures, all of your Insta-peeps will know. Again, use the like button wisely. Ladies, you’re not exempt either. Don’t be a thirst bucket. If you comment on the same dude’s pics every single time he posts – three seconds after he posts. We’re all gonna know and we’re all gonna judge. Instagram is still relatively young and doesn’t really have advanced settings where you can manage what your friends see and don’t see. If you do something on instagram assume someone else can see it. Keep that in mind.

Rule #4 — Stop Setting Thirst Traps

O.k. bro – we know you put in your work at the gym, no need to post a pic of you all sweaty post work out with statement like “Almost got my abs where I want them to be. How do they look?” attached. It’s super lame dude. Ladies, don’t post a pic you reading a book, in your bed, with nothing but a big -t shirt on with every inch of thigh you have showing with “Anyone else read this… sooo good!” attached. We know, you want us to comment on your thighs. We get it.

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Rule # 3 —  Easy on the TweeGrams – You’re Not That Deep

There’s nothing worse than checking your Instagram and finding 50-11 tweegrams of folks spewing their fake-deep dogma. We all know the serenity prayer, no need to tweegram the whole damn thing. And definitely don’t put your tweegram in quotation marks and then attribute said quote to yourself. If you do that, I will unfollow you on the spot.


“Love is like air, you can never really touch it, but you breathe it everyday” ~ Me


Rule # 2: Don’t Stop Life for Instagram or Create Life on Instagram

Life’s greatest moments and memories become more and more beautiful the further removed we become from them. The girl you used to date in college becomes the most beautiful woman on Earth when you’re reminiscing at your 10 year reunion. The view of the New York City skyline that night you strolled the Brooklyn Promenade becomes more amazing when you’re remembering it years later. That’s the beauty of instagram, it allows you to enhance an image so that it’s beauty matches the beauty of the memory in your mind. Still though, there’s a fine line between capturing a moment and creating a moment. Don’t create moments for Instagram. Don’t stop your life and its innate spontaneity so that you can show your insta-friends how awesome you are. Keep it real.

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Rule #1: Stop Taking That Same Damn Picture of Your Face Over and Over!

Self explanatory. If we become insta-friends and I find that 50% of your pictures are of your face with your chin pointed down to the right showing off your good side with the same little, half sexy, half cute, half innocent smile, I’m unfollowing immediately. It’s super annoying and I’m going to assume there’s something off about your self-esteem.

That about does it for me. How about you all? Are y’all on Instagram, and if so, do you have pet peeves related to the social network? What are some of the most annoying things people do on Instagram, and what are some rules you’d like to add to the list. I hope these Instagram rules for new users are helpful. Also, check all about Instagram video. Lastly, are you an Android user hopping on the Instagram bandwagon? Let us know.

Mr. Spradley


  1. lol. I have an iPhone and still have yet to get Instagram. Don't think I ever will. I'm not particularly photogenic, to begin with.

    1. Haha @ you both. Nah, I think I'll keep chillin' on the sidelines. @ Streetz, you know WIM gotchu with his (clearly not personal) Instagram RTs. =P

    2. I once thought the same thing……and then finally gave in due to wanting to try a Photo-A-Day Challenge lol

  2. As a GPOY whore, I rebuke that first rule!!! I mean, I do take pics of other ish too. Still, I'm so vain, I prolly think this comment is about me.

    I'm "pinchmycheekie" on instagram btw! Hey ya'll hey.

  3. I can't stand it when people take photos of nothing but themselves (tends to be girls) on instagram. What i hate most is photos of their luxurious belongings…..designer bags, shoes, fake manicured nails etc etc gosh. I feel like there's so much around me to see and share than to show the world how rich or beautiful i am or whatever. Instagram unfortunately has become slightly mediocre. Oh and this tweegram thing, people need to understand that instagram is for PHOTOS! If you want to talk, take it twitter! Death to tweegram abusers….(not literally)

  4. I didn't understand the Tweegram thing people posted on FB, but now I get it…this reminds of when you had to wait months for Google Voice or someone w/ it had to send you an invite…people were getting Paypal pesos off those invites…now you can get it as soon as you start a Google account and they have pic messaging…Instagram is just another app that will likely lose its popularity the more users it gains (Draw Something was hot for what 10 days, if that LOL)…but I'm glad to finally check it out and play around w/ some photos

    1 rule to add, don't sync your Instagram to every single 1 of your social networking pages…I hate seeing the same photo on Tumblr, Twitter, and FB, at the same exact time…sync 1 and keep it simple
    My recent post 5 Things I Learned From March Madness 2012

    1. Please don’t talk when you have no idea what you’re talking about. Comparing instagram to draw something?

  5. I heard someone say something about instagram, and I thought they were being sarcastic and witty. Didn't realize it's a "thing". Welp, I'll be sure to blow kisses as this wave of technology passes me by, lol.

  6. I’m a proud Android and I dont really know or care about instagram. I came here for some insight on how to use it IF I do make an account, but I didn’t get that. Instagram is a social network and people can post whatever they want. If you don’t like what they post then don’t follow or liked them. Whatever. And the thing about iPhone instagram users is they think their at the top of the Techno world. Get yourself a 4G or 4G LTE phone, then we’ll talk. Team Android!

    1. I agree! who cares how or why people use it or if they have an android or iphone…who cares! If you don’t like the way someone uses it don’t follow them right! To those snobs: Get a life…nobody really cares who really matters…

  7. Maybe I’m out of touch, but what is the point of Instagram anyway? What makes it different? Because when I here “social network” I immediately wonder why on earth we need yet another one. There are already sooo many.

  8. How could you forget one of th most important rules??

    Rule #11- If you reply to a comment left on one of your pictures you MUST MUST MUST @ the person you are replying too!!! No one is trying to stalk your pages looking to see if you replied to them.

  9. ok here's my thing…if all the iOS users aree supposedly holier than thou, how do you ALREADY have a list of 10 rules about no-no's that you seem to be implying, supposedly werent an issue until Android joined in (since the headline is so specifically targeted).
    Mind you this is written on the same day as the Android go live…which basically means all yall were/are as lame as everybody else with a camera phone!

    smh lmao. yall need to stop, seriously… its just gettin sad now

  10. I love Instagram…I personally have about 1000 (JK) pics of ME!!! My "about me" says it all…I will take a picture of just about ANYTHING…especially ME!!! It's a place to post YOUR pics of whatever and that's why I LOVE it…so SNAP AWAY Droiders…I do!!! And it saves my FB followers from having to see 1000 random pics of the stuff I absolutely have to take a picture of!!!

  11. Ugh, shut the fuck up. I’m so sick of people trying to tell others how to use social networking sites. You run YOUR timeline, and let them handle theirs. If you don’t like their posts, don’t view them. It’s just that simple. Nobody gives a fuck about your “unfollow.” Aside from celebrities, photographers, and artists, no one has anything that awesome to post because we are average citizens with average lives. And whether or not the pics are taken with an Android or an iPhone won’t make a difference. Y’all battling over this shit as if the kind of cell phones we use have weight in the grand scheme of life. Who cares?! It’s a damn phone. Get a life, then post its humble findings on Instagram like everyone else…

  12. I agree, Tweegram is a NO NO, Instagram is for photos, go do your damn tweegram somewhere else on Twitter or something. Also, I think a few self portraits is ok, but if that's flooding your gallery then that's hella lame. And incorrect Hashtags. That drives me crazy. If you've obviously used a filter never should you tag #nofilter.

  13. U forgot the most annoying one… CHAIN LETTERS! I hate them. Some ppl r just stupid enough to believe them! And some of them do it just in case. If U don’t believe in it then don’t do it just in case! That’s what I really hate. And fake shoutouts. If u have over 30,000 followers stop lying about shoutouts! It’s really annoying! That’s all I see! If u have that many followers post nice cool pics! Not lies about a shouout u will never give to someone with less than 10,000!

  14. TOTALLY agree about the vain pics that people (usually teenagers!) post of themselves with their iphones. You people look stupid.

  15. Hey I was trying to research and is there anythig wrong with taking celeb pictures and adding captions to them? Celeb pictures as in public, kind of available to the public kind of pictures; if you know what i mean. I was thinking of adding funny captions.

  16. About rule # 6: I’ve been using Instagram for a while now, and every time I get a new follower, that same person unfollowes me after I follow back. It happens almost always, so what’s up with that?! Is following back a no no? LOL Or is it a trick to get more followers? Obveiously I unfollow them as wel 😉

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  19. Teenage girls, stop taking whorish pics of yourself and hash tagging popular tags that have nothing to do with your pics.

  20. Actually, for Rule #5, people who are following you can only see what you "like", they can't see what you comment on unless they are following that person as well. So you can comment on countless pictures of random women or men and none of your followers will know about it unless they are following them too which is HIGHLY unlikely. Just thought I'd share that.

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  22. Why, is there a rule of IG like restricting of posting so much pictures of oneself? IG had been developed to post pictures whatever it may be. Are these 10 rules really coming from the developer? Why some of you are being annoyed of those boastful photos of instagrammers? As long as they don't post nude photos, well that's fine! In the first place, they didn't tell you to follow them. If you are bothered, well don't look at their pictures or unfollow them, ok?, Everyone has the freedom to express oneself!

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