Instagram is a staple social media app for most of us, but it’s rare that we think about using it beyond scrolling through our newsfeed or uploading the occasional filtered picture of brunch or a sunset.
While Instagram’s main functions continue to be easy to access and use, there are several options, tools, and third-party apps that most of us don’t even realize are out there! We’ve covered a lot of Instagram’s hidden features before, and discussed some of the best Instagram tricks, but there are still more where those came from.
These ten things you didn’t know you could do on Instagram can help you to use the platform more intuitively, improve the images you post, and help you to get more likes and comments on Instagram.
1. Get Notifications from People You Follow
If there’s an Instagram account that you never want to miss a single post from (such as @makeuseof, perhaps?) , consider enabling notifications on the account. This will make sure that you never miss any of their Instagram activity, which is especially helpful after Instagram’s move to an algorithm-based newsfeed.
To do this, go to the profile of the account you wish to get notifications for using the Instagram app. Press the options (“…”) button at the top right of the screen, and select “Turn On Post Notifications” to enable this feature. You can always select “Turn Off Post Notifications” if you find the notifications overwhelming in the future!
2. Remove Tags of Yourself from Other People’s Photos
Does one of your friends always tag you in unflattering photos or unwanted memes? Thankfully, there are two ways to get around this situation.
- Your first option is to completely remove the tag. To do this, go to the photo, press the options button, select “Photo Options” and then choose “Remove Me from Photo”
- Your other option is to select “Hide from My Profile” instead – some people prefer this option if they don’t want to offend their friend by removing the tag completely, but still want to prevent the image from showing up under the “Tagged Photos” page of their profile.
3. Clear Search History
Instagram has a wide variety of posts on it, and maybe you don’t want your friends to be browsing Instagram and see that your searches were for “cats in hats,” or “hamsters of Instagram” (both of which are searches I highly recommend), your ex’s name, or anything else that may be embarrassing.
To clear your search history, navigate to your profile, choose the options wheel at the top, scroll down the list of options to the very bottom, and select “Clear Search History.” Keep in mind that choosing this will prevent Instagram from auto-filling your common search terms, so be sure of your decision before confirming!
4. See All the Posts You’ve Ever Liked
Have you ever liked a post because it includes a great recipe, is an idea for a project you want to try, or because it’s a photo of somewhere you’d like to travel in the future? Have you ever then completely forgotten which account posted it, an ingredient in the recipe, or where the photo was taken?
If you want to find a photo that you’ve liked in the past, you don’t have to spend hours searching through your newsfeed or other people’s profiles! Instead, simply go to your profile, click the options wheel, and then select “Posts You’ve Liked.” This will open a feed composed of every picture you’ve ever liked, which you can then browse at your leisure.
5. Edit Your Post Like a Pro
A lot of people are quick to throw on a photo filter and then upload their photo without making any other changes.
While Instagram’s filters work wonders, taking editing into your own hands with the incredible number of other photo-editing options Instagram offers can make a huge difference in making your photos look the way you want them to.
For example, in the image above, I took the original photo of my very messy desk (1), added the Hefe filter (2) and then added my own edits (3) by altering the brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, shadows, and saturation of the filtered photo. To access these editing tools (and many, many others) after selecting the photo you want to press press “edit” at the bottom of the screen next to “filter.”
6. Use Less Data
Because Instagram is mostly photos and videos, it can quickly run through your data.
To limit the amount of data that Instagram uses, go to your profile, choose the options wheel, select “Cellular Data Use” and then hit the button next to “Use Less Data.” You may find that photo and videos take longer to load, but your overall data use will decrease significantly.
7. Post from Multiple Accounts
For a long time Instagram was very difficult to use with multiple accounts, but a recent update has made this a problem of the past. Much like Twitter, you can now link multiple Instagram accounts to one phone without constantly having to sign in and out, or using third-party apps. This is especially helpful for people who have an Instagram for their personal life as well as a professional account, or who use Instagram for a number of different purposes.
To link a new Instagram account to your app, go to your profile, press the settings wheel, select “Add Account” from the bottom of the list, and follow the prompts to link an existing account or to create a new one. That being said, you are only able to have one account linked to your Facebook or to any one e-mail at a time.
8. Create Collages
Until recently, collages could only be created through third-party apps. Instagram has now released a linked app called “Layout” (available for iOS and Android) that allows you to seamlessly make collages and then upload them to Instagram or other social media sites. You can access Layout through its own app, or link to it through your Instagram app by pressing the collage button when selecting your photo to edit.
Once you have accessed Layout you have your choice of 9 different collage options, all of which can be adjusted with regards to the size that you want each panel and the order you want your pictures to be in. You can also choose to flip images, mirror images, and insert white borders between your photos.
9. Make Your Posts More Interesting
Recent linked apps are making Instagram more fun than ever, and jumping in on these trends (much like using hashtags and emojis) may be able to help you get more likes and followers.
Wonder how your friends have posted short looping videos? Those were likely created using the app Boomerang (available for iOS and Android), which allows you to create a short, looping video that plays over and over again on your friends’ feeds.
Another popular third-party app for Instagram users right now is called Hyperlapse (available for iOS and Android), which allows you to create time lapse videos that can be easily uploaded to Instagram. Stabilization provided by the app keeps the quality of your videos high, even if you’re travelling over bumpy terrain or holding your phone in your hand while you walk.
10. Find Active Hashtags to Use
The secret to Instagram success is definitely finding and using key hashtags – this allows you to connect with other users, find the content you are interested in, and putting your photos in front of the users that are looking for them. Unfortunately, until you know what the popular hashtags are for your area of interest, it can be difficult to reach out!
Searching Instagram for hashtags that might apply is definitely one strategy you can use, but you can also use tools such as hatagify.me, a website that takes any keyword you enter and gives you words that are commonly linked to it in popular hashtags. For example, using #animal, #love, or #cute may help to bring more attention to the photo you upload of your #hamster.
These tips and tricks may not be dramatic surprises, but can they definitely improve your Instagram experience by influencing how engaging your photos and videos are, improving the hashtags you use to share your photos, and making your day-to-day use of the app a little easier!
Let me know what Instagram tips and tricks you use every day in the comments – I’d love to hear about any ones I missed!