- Instagram icons guide users toward features.
- Understanding Instagram icons is essential to navigate the platform effectively.
Interpreting the meaning of Instagram icons isn’t always intuitive. How are you supposed to know that the paper airplane represents direct messaging or that the clock icon shows your activity history?
Whether you’re new to Instagram or you’ve been wondering about the meaning of Instagram symbols for a while, we’re here to provide you with a helpful explanation.
We’ve broken down the icons by page to help you navigate the app with confidence.
The house-shaped icon takes you to your Instagram feed where you can see content posted by the accounts you follow.
If you tap the magnifying glass icon, you be directed to the Explore page. The Explore page is designed to help you find interesting content, using an algorithm to predict your interests based on what you’ve already viewed and liked.
If you follow a lot of cooking accounts, for example, you may see some images and videos of food and recipes here.
At the top of the page, you will find the Search bar. This is where you can search for accounts, hashtags, and other content.
If you want to make a post, you’ll need to click the plus (+) icon. After clicking the plus icon, you’ll see a header titled New post.
If you’ve granted Instagram access to your camera and photos, you’ll see options to either capture a new photo/video using your camera or select an existing photo/video from your library. Once your chosen content is selected, you can share it with your followers.
The Reels icon looks like a clapperboard used to mark scenes in film productions. If you click this icon, you will be directed to the Reels page where you can explore short-form video content. To see more reels, you can swipe up to explore.
The Profile icon will be a circular, cropped image that you’ve uploaded to Instagram. Most accounts typically use a face shot here, but it can be anything that the account holder chooses.
Once you click the Profile icon, you will be directed to your profile where you can see your posts, the number of people following you, and the number of people you follow.
When you’re on the Home page, you’ll notice a heart-shaped icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. After clicking on this icon, you’ll be directed to the Notifications page.
The Notifications page keeps you informed about the interactions happening around your content and profile. It could encompass a range of interactions, such as receiving follow requests (if your profile is private), being tagged in a post, or receiving comments on photos/videos that you’ve posted.
Speech Bubble With Horizontal Lightning Bolt
You’ll find this icon to the right of the heart icon in the upper right-hand area of the screen. If you click on it, you will be able to find your direct messages.
Once you click the plus icon on the Home page, you’ll see the following icons.
The Collage icon looks like a square stacked over another square. If you click on this, you can select up to 10 photos/videos to post.
Notably, you should select them in the order you would like to appear. If you change your mind, you can always unselect your content and reselect it in your preferred order.
If you click the camera icon, it opens up your mobile device’s camera, allowing you to capture and share content immediately.
The Flip Camera icon looks like two arrows forming a circle. It allows you to switch between the front and rear-facing cameras. This is especially helpful when you want to be able to see yourself on the screen while you take a selfie.
If you click this icon, you’ll be able to cycle through various camera settings, including options for flash, no-flash, or automatic flash.
By clicking on the Gear icon, you can adjust your post settings. This may include options to hide your story from followers of your choice or only share it with close friends. Notably, your list of close friends can be curated by you and changed at any time.
Three Horizontal Lines
This Instagram icon is also known as the hamburger menu. By clicking this, you will receive a list of options such as general settings, your activity history, your saved collections, and your list of close friends.
The grid looks like a square containing nine smaller squares. It is located in the center of the Profile page on the left-hand side. If you click on it, you will see all your posts.
The Reels icon is located in the center of the Profile page and looks identical to the Reels icon on the Home page. However, if you click the Reels icon on your Profile page, you will see only the reels you have posted.
The icon looks like a silhouette of a person’s head and shoulders. It will be located near the center of the screen on the right-hand side. If you click it, you will see all the posts you have been tagged in.
Under the left-hand side of any given post, you will see a heart. If you click on this or double-tap the post, the heart will turn red. This signifies that you liked the post and the account that created the content will receive a notification.
To the right of the heart icon underneath a post, you will see a speech bubble. If you click on this, it will show you all the comments users have made on that post.
This Instagram icon allows you to share a post via direct message with another user. However, if the post comes from a private account, the recipient will also have to follow the account to be able to see the content.
You will see this icon underneath a post on the right-hand side. If you click this, you will be able to save the post to your collections.
To keep all your saved content organized, you can create titles for different categories of saved content. For example, you could save all food-related posts to a collection titled “Food,” or save photos of your family to a collection titled “Family.”
You can find the Navigation Menu by clicking on the three horizontal lines in the upper right-hand corner of your Profile page.
Here, you will see the following icons.
By clicking the gear on this menu, you will be able to see your Settings and Privacy page. This is where you can access your Accounts Center to change your password or personal details such as your birthdate and contact information.
The Threads icon is relatively new. It looks a bit like an @ symbol. Threads is a new app built by Instagram. It offers a separate space for sharing text.
Clock with Four Dots
If you click this icon, you will be able to see all your activity on Instagram. This includes likes, comments, tags, sticker responses, reviews, recently deleted content, time spent on the app, account history, recent searches, and links you’ve visited.
You can request to download all of this information. However, you will need to know the account’s password to request a download.
Clock with Arrow
This icon represents your Archive. It will show you all past stories, posts, and live videos.
While every type of account can see this icon, you’ll need to be logged into a Creator Account to access the features available here.
Once you click this icon, your account’s QR code will appear. Others can then scan it using their mobile device’s camera to quickly access your Profile page.
Clicking this icon will take you to your saved collections.
The Supervision icon looks like a silhouette of a head and shoulders stacked on top of another identical silhouette. By clicking this icon, you can find the Family Center where you can adjust your parental settings.
If you make a purchase through Instagram, your shopping history will show up here.
This is where you might choose to save your credit card information to expedite your shopping experience on Instagram.
Badge With Check Mark
This icon looks like three solid stars next to three horizontal lines. If you would like to edit your list of close friends, you can do that here.
The Favorites icon looks like an outline of a star. Your Favorites list is a list of all your favorite accounts. This is likely to include accounts you interact with frequently.
Instagram can help you feel more connected to your community. It allows you to share special moments, express your creativity, or even promote your business.
However, while Instagram can be used for good, it’s important to be aware that it can also be misused and pose certain risks.
- Use a strong password, change it regularly, and do not share it with anyone.
- For an additional layer of security, turn on two-factor authentication.
- Before you download a third-party social media management app, do your research to ensure it is reputable.
- Be careful not to share sensitive personal information like your address.
- Be aware that there are many fake accounts impersonating individuals.
Instagram takes its Community Guidelines very seriously. If you violate these guidelines, you risk account suspension or even legal consequences.
In addition to following Instagram’s guidelines, we recommend the following:
- Get permission before posting a photo of someone else.
- Never use social media to bully or harass anyone.
- Know that employers often research potential employees on social media, so don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want everyone to see.
|Takes you to your feed where you can see content posted by the accounts you follow.
|Directs you to the Explore page to find interesting content.
|Allows you to make a post.
|Directs you to the Reels page to explore short-form video content.
|Directs you to your profile page.
|Directs you to the Notifications page.
|Speech Bubble With Horizontal Lightning Bolt
|Opens your direct messages.
|Allows you to select up to 10 photos/videos to post.
|Opens up your camera to capture and share content immediately.
|Switches between the front and rear-facing cameras.
|Cycles through various flash options.
|Adjusts your story settings.
|Three Horizontal Lines
|Opens a list of options such as settings, archive, and insights.
|Displays all your posts.
|Displays your Reels.
|Displays posts you’ve been tagged in.
|Likes a post.
|Displays comments on a post.
|Shares a post with another user.
|Saves a post.
|Opens your settings and privacy page.
|Opens Threads, a new app built by Instagram.
|Clock with Four Dots
|Displays your activity history.
|Clock with Arrow
|Displays your story archive.
|Opens Creator Tools (only for Creator Accounts).
|Displays your QR code.
|Displays your saved posts.
|Opens the Supervision page to adjust parental settings.
|Displays your shopping orders.
|Adds a payment method.
|Badge With Check Mark
|Represents the verification process.
|Adds people to your Close Friends list.
|Displays your Favorites list.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.com.