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Demystified – What does each Symbol and Icon Mean on Instagram?

Here’s a guide to all the symbols and icons on Instagram.

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Instagram is notorious for frequently changing the icons and their layout on the app. You may remember the DM icon being changed to that of Facebook Messenger when the two platforms merged together. Recently, Instagram changed where you can access the sharing options from. In this article, we explain what each symbol and icon means on Instagram.

Read Also: OnePlus 11 5G and the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 launched: Pricing details

Home Screen Icons

Profile, Plus, and Messenger icons

Profile, Plus, and Messenger icons

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The icon with your profile picture and plus symbol at the top left part of the screen can be used to add an Instagram Story or view a previously uploaded story that hasn’t expired yet. Stories vanish 24 hours after you upload them. This icon is followed by the stories uploaded by the people you follow. Tapping on your followers’ profile icons will display the stories they have uploaded.

The Plus icon at the top right corner of the screen can be used to create a new Instagram post, Story, Reel, or start a Livestream. The Messenger icon next to the plus icon lets you access your direct messages. You can also merge your Facebook Messenger with Instagram DMs. If the icon looks familiar it’s because it is the same one as Facebook Messenger.

Home, Magnifying Glass, Play, Heart, and Profile Picture icons

Home, Magnifying Glass, Play, Heart, and Profile Picture icons

These icons can be found at the bottom of the home screen. Tapping the home icon takes you back to your home feed from any page on the app. The magnifying glass icon lets you search anything on the app, from other accounts to videos, hashtags, places, and more. This is where you will also find the ‘Explore’ feed where you can view the suggested content based on your likes. 

The play icon takes you to Instagram Reels. This is where you can view Reels posted by your followers and other creators on the platform. Following the Reels icon is the heart icon. Tapping the heart icon opens up the activity page where you can see all the latest notifications. The profile picture icon takes you to your Instagram profile. If there are multiple profiles linked to your account, double-tap this icon to switch between them. 

Post Symbols and Icons

Heart, Chat Bubble, and Paper Plane icons

Heart, Chat Bubble, and Paper Plane icons

Tap the heart icon right below an Instagram post if you want to like it. Alternatively, you can also double-tap a post to like it. Pressing the chat bubble opens up the comments on the post. You post a new comment in the following window or like the previously posted comments by tapping the heart icon next to them. The paper plane icon can be used to share the post with your friends through DMs or your followers by adding it to your Story.

Ribbon, Ellipses, and Profile icons

The ribbon icon can be used to bookmark the post you’re viewing. You can access all the bookmarked posts from your profile. The little profile icon at the bottom left corner of the post shows all the people tagged in the post. The ellipses display further options like unfollowing, muting, or reporting the Original Poster.

Messaging Icons and Symbols

Arrow, Video Camera, and Plus icons

Arrow, Video Camera, and Plus icons

The arrow next to your Instagram username displays the other Instagram profiles linked to your account. You can easily switch between profiles by tapping on 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 end-to-end encrypted conversation with your Instagram followers. 

Camera and Profile icon

Camera and Profile icon Demystified - What does each Symbol and Icon mean on Instagram

The profile icon with the plus symbol can be used to leave a note attached to your Instagram profile. This note will show up in your friends’ DM window. The camera icon next to a DM thread can be used to send an image or video to the recipient(s) in that conversation. 

Profile icons

Arrow, Plus, and Hamburger icons

Arrow, Plus, and Hamburger icons. Demystified - What does each Symbol and Icon mean on Instagram

As mentioned earlier, the arrow icon next to your 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, or Guide. The Hamburger icon opens up the menu containing Archives, Bookmarks, Settings, Activity history, and more.

Suggested followers, Grid, Highlights, and Tagged Posts icons

Suggested followers, Grid, Highlights, and Tagged Posts icons

Tapping the small profile icon next to the ‘Edit profile’ button reveals all the suggested profiles and accounts. The plus icon titled ‘New’ can be used to create a new Instagram Highlight. The grid icon gives you a look at your posts while the profile icon next to it displays all the posts you have been tagged in.

Read Also: BMW unveils the i Vision Dee concept at CES 2023

Conclusion 

These are all the symbols and icons you will find on Instagram. Sometimes, an icon may appear at different places, but it will carry out the same function. For example, the paper place icon appears below posts, stories, and Reels, but carries out the same function of sharing the content via DMs. If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments!

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