What each symbol and icon means on Instagram
Instagram is known for frequently changing icons and their layout in the app. You may remember that the DM icon changed to the Facebook Messenger icon when the two platforms merged together. Recently, Instagram has changed where you can access the sharing options. In this article, we will explain what each symbol and icon on Instagram means.
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Home screen icons
Profile, Plus and Messenger icons
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The icon with your profile picture and the plus symbol at the top left of the screen can be used to add an Instagram story or view a previously uploaded story that has not yet expired. Stories disappear 24 hours after they are uploaded. Stories uploaded by people you follow follow this icon. Click on your followers’ profile icons to see the stories they’ve uploaded.
The plus icon in the upper right corner of the screen can be used to create a new Instagram post, story, reel or start a live stream. The Messenger icon next to the plus icon gives you access to your direct messages. You can also merge your Facebook Messenger with Instagram DM. If the icon looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same as Facebook Messenger.
Home, Magnifying glass, Game, Heart and Profile picture icons
You can find these icons at the bottom of the home screen. Tap the home icon to return to the home page from any page in the app. The magnifying glass icon lets you search for anything in the app, from other accounts to videos, hashtags, places, and more. You’ll also find an ‘Explore’ feed where you can see suggested content based on your ratings.
The play icon will take you to Instagram reels. Here you can view reels posted by your followers and other creators on the platform. Behind the Reels icon is a heart icon. Clicking on the heart icon will open the activity page where you can see all the latest notifications. The profile picture icon will take you to your Instagram profile. If you have multiple profiles linked to your account, double-tap this icon to switch between them.
Post symbols and icons
Icons of hearts, chat bubbles and paper airplane
If you want to like it, tap the heart icon right below the Instagram post. Alternatively, you can also double-tap a post to like it. Press the chat bubble to open the post comments. In the following window, to post a new comment or like previously posted comments, tap the heart icon next to them. The paper airplane icon can be used to share a post with your friends via DM or with your followers by adding it to your story.
Ribbon, ellipses and profile icons
The ribbon icon can be used to bookmark the post you are viewing. You can access all bookmarked posts from your profile. The small profile icon in the lower left corner of the post shows all the people tagged in the post. Ellipses show other options, such as unfollowing, muting, or reporting the original poster.
Message icons and symbols
Arrow, video camera and plus icons
The arrow next to your Instagram username shows the other Instagram profiles linked to your account. You can easily switch between profiles by tapping the arrow. The video camera icon can be used to start a video or audio with your Instagram contacts. Tap the plus icon to start a new encrypted conversation with your Instagram fans.
Camera and profile icon
The profile icon with a plus symbol can be used to leave a note attached to your Instagram profile. This note will appear in your friends’ DM window. The camera icon next to a DM thread can be used to send a picture or video to recipients in that conversation.
Arrow, plus and hamburger icons
As mentioned earlier, the arrow icon next to the Instagram username can be used to switch between multiple profiles. The Plus icon can be used to create a new Instagram post, reel, story, story highlight, live stream, or guide. The Hamburger icon opens a menu containing archives, bookmarks, settings, activity history, and more.
Follower Recommendation, Grid, Highlight and Flagged Posts icons
Click the small profile icon next to the “Edit Profile” button to see all suggested profiles and accounts. The plus icon named “New” can be used to create a new Instagram highlight. The grid icon gives you a view of your posts, while the profile icon next to it shows all the posts you’ve been tagged in.
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These are all the symbols and icons you will find on Instagram. Sometimes the icon may appear in different places, but it will have the same function. For example, the paper space icon appears under posts, stories, and reels, but performs the same function of sharing content via DM. If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments!
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