Instagram is a free photo app that makes your iPhone and iPad photos look great without too much work. It literally only takes me just a few seconds to snap a photo, crop, then add a filter and share with my followers. However, you may have heard about the recent privacy concerns regarding your Instagram photos. These concerns were raised since Facebook purchased Instagram, and would therefore potentially like to profit from its users’ photos.
This post is not a complete review of Instagram itself. I would like to share how to still use Instagram but not share your photos.
While Instagram is just an iPhone app and does not have an official iPad app, iPad owners can still install it and use the 2x magnification. you may notice that the resolution might not look great on the larger screen, but your edited images will still have the same final outcome as if done on an iPhone. iPads, especially the more recent iPad mini and iPad Air, have excellent rear-facing cameras and therefore can produce great quality Instagram photos.
The easiest way is to turn on Airplane mode on your device. This will turn off any data or wifi connection. Go to Settings, it will be the first item on the top of the list. Now, freely crop and filter as many photos as you would like. Nothing will be shared. Note, if you upgraded to the latest version of iOS, your Photos app will instantly create a separate Instagram folder (this offline folder is not to be confused with your published online Instagram photos). Any edited photos will be placed both in your Camera Roll and in this new folder .
Another way to still use the filters and not share is to simply delete the photo from your Instagram feed soon after you’ve published it. It seems tedious, but only takes a few moments. This may be a more common way to do it as you may decide to share some photos and not share others. Once you delete the image, it will still remain in your Camera Roll and Instagram folders. (If you decide to delete it from Camera Roll, it will also be removed from the Instagram folder).
As professional educators, we must be responsible for what we do and do not publish online. We are not supposed to be putting photos of our students for the world to see. The other day I took a great group photo of some of my students and I playing in the snow. I knew I wasn’t going to post it anywhere online, but wanted to use the simple but effective filters offered by Instagram. I took option two as explained above, and am just keeping the photo for my personal use.
Even though Instagram does allow you to keep your photos private (meaning only users you have approved can see them), you should still never post photos of students unless given direct permission from each of their parents.
You may also choose to delete certain images simply because you don’t want to annoy your Instagram followers. Nobody (except yourself) wants to see several photos of the same occasion.
I have removed the photos online, Now what?
Once you have saved your images, you can decide to just keep them on your device, or be more creative and print them out. If they are photos of your students, why not decorate your classrooms with them? Make a collage of groups of students each term.
I am sure there are other non-social, non-sharing photo apps that can do what Instagram does, but it is just so ridiculously easy to crop and filter on Instagram. Give this a try and let me know how it goes in the comments!
By the way, here is a link to a companion app, Squaready, that I reviewed which allows you to get rid of those black bars on Instagram when you do not want your photo to be a square.