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I was not born knowing how to use Instagram

[If you already use and are familiar with Instagram – this post is probably not for you. You know who you are. The three minutes you’d spend reading this and finding my errors/bad advice could be better spent watching reels of kittens running and jumping on dog’s faces, or 20 year olds offering their sage advice on how you should live your life.]

Full disclosure here – This is Geoff here. So, any bad jokes (like above), etc… are mine. Please don’t lower your opinion of April because I’m a goof.

We use Instagram for a few reasons. First, it is a way to let current/prospective jewelry customers see what April is working on, how she makes the work, and to let folks know where they can see or purchase her work, when to expect a new collection release, etc,… She also likes being able to follow other artists and friends all over to see what they are up to. It can also come in handy for trying to figure out what part of the globe our boys may be in at any particular moment – and whether they have made it off of the mountain or river, etc….

I was not born knowing how to navigate Instagram. I think modern babies might be. But, in this way, I guess I am not modern. For my contemporaries out there, who may have a few things to learn about navigating the Insta world, here’s a couple of pointers.

First, if you are on April’s mailing list or found your way to this blog by some other mysterious wandering path – and you don’t ‘follow’ her on Instagram – you can at least see what she’s been up to by putting into your web browser and then type April Ottey Jewelry into the search bar at the top. This will show you her ‘Profile’ and then a block of images below that (see below) shows the most recent items we have put on Instagram. On this page, you can click on an image and it will either be a ‘Post’ or a ‘Reel’. A reel will have a little white box with a triangle in it. Posts will have some text and one or more images you can look through. You’ll also see ‘Comments’ over on the right side. There is also some text that goes with a reel – to see that you’ll need to click on the white text at the bottom of the screen just under the circular picture of April once you have it playing.

If you decide you want to ‘Follow’ April on Instagram – you’ll have to get the ‘App’ and set up an account (free; go the App store on your device and search for Instagram). If you go through with getting an Instagram account – and you decide to Follow April (hit the blue button that says ‘Follow’ after you have found April on Instagram using the search bar – or by typing in april_ottey_jewelry), then when we put something on Instagram, it will show up in your ‘Feed’.

A partial glossary of terms:

Post: ‘normal’ Instagram contribution, usually a photo or small collection of photos. If there is more than one photo, there will be a series of dots below the image. The picture you are on will make the dot blue, the others will be gray. Swipe to the left to see the next picture to the right – and vicey-versey. There will also be a description below the photos (usually)– some words about what you are looking at, and if you’re lucky, why. Below that will be comments. Sometimes the first comment will be a jillion hash-tags (#). These work like magic to solve all the worlds problems. That’s all you need to know.

Like: This is the little heart thingy. If you like what you see – double tap the picture/reel/story or tap/click the heart icon.

Comment: If you want to comment on a post, story, or reel- you can use the message window at the bottom (in a story) or tap the comment bubble. You can also choose emojis (smiley faces with hearts for eyes, etc…) with or without text. We think comments and likes (and views) are probably used in algorithms at Instagram to boost a post, story, reel higher into other user’s feeds.

Send Message: If you see ‘DM me’ or ‘Message me’: this stands for direct message – if you tap on the little paper airplane – you can send April a message. She’ll always reply to these messages or emails if you have a question. You can also use this to send a post/reel, etc… to a friend (or enemy).

Reel: These are short videos, often with music or other sound (e.g., narration). You have to tap on the screen to get the sound to play. These loop – so don’t sweat it if you missed the start. It will go by again. And again. And again. This feature can be annoying – so to get it to shut up and move on – just hit the little house in the lower left (‘Home’).

Story: These are short-lived little collections of stills or video that show up in the top bar of the App. If a person you follow has a new story (or has added to a story since you last checked in), the circle around the outside of their profile picture will be red (instead of gray). Just tap on their picture in that circle to see the story. Stories only last for 24 hours – then they filter off into the atmosphere and are inhaled by unsuspecting organisms and incorporated into their DNA. And, oh yeah, birds aren’t real.

Profile: This is a short bio and at the bottom there is a link (April's looks like this that you can click on which will take you to a screen that has a few buttons on it to direct you to her ‘About’ page, Home Page, Shop, and contact page on her website. There are also buttons along the bottom that will take you to her Facebook page, Instagram, her YouTube channel, or to email her.

When you see ‘Link in Profile’ (or ‘Link in Bio’) in the text of a post/reel– this is where you’d find something like the Linktree described above or a link to someone’s website, latest collection, shop, etc…

For more – here’s a beginner’s guide to Instagram or ask someone under 30 years old (that’s about when experts says that innate knowledge of how social media works became part of the human genome).


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