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.