Stand Out on Instagram With These 10 Essential Apps
Ever wonder how everyone seems to have perfect Instagram feeds? Their photos are exactly in focus, their hashtags result in hundreds of likes, and they have filters and effects you can’t find in the Instagram app.
The truth is, if you’re using only the Instagram app to post your photos, you’re missing out on most of the features that everyone else is using. There are hundreds of third-party Instagram apps out there — and some are definitely better than others. The sheer number of options makes it hard to know which apps to download!
That’s why we’ve collected ten of our favorite apps for Instagram here. Using this collection of apps (or even just a handful of them), you can edit, analyze, schedule, hashtag, and repost like an Instagram pro. Before long, you’ll have a personal or professional Instagram feed that’s successful and envied by all.
1. Command Analytics & Stats (iOS)
If you’re unsure about how your Instagram profile measures up, this app should be your first stop. Once you grant it permission to access your account, the app quickly analyzes your posts and pulls together a “report card,” grading you on factors like engagement rate, post frequency, hashtags, and followers.
Command is free with some paid features, but you may also choose to use an established, paid platform like Iconosquare for analytics (especially if you run a business Instagram account).
First things first: almost everyone uses an additional photo editing app before posting to Instagram. There are a ton of great photo editing apps out there, and if you have some time to spare it’s worth checking out several to see which best meets your needs.
However, for all-purpose edits (whether landscapes or selfies) it’s hard to find a better free app than Google’s Snapseed. The filters and tools offer a wide variety of functions, and the app is intuitive to use for photographers of all levels.
3. UNUM (iOS, Android)
Your posts’ timing matter less than it used to thanks to Instagram’s new algorithmic feed. But it can still be helpful to plan out your posts over a set period of time — especially if you coordinate posts across platforms.
UNUM is a free app that offers key scheduling features from both your phone and the web. The app also allows you to visualize how your individual posts will look next to each other on your profile. Hootsuite is a paid alternative (with a 30-day free trial) that may be a better fit for professional social media management .
4. Over (iOS)
Over is a longtime favorite for creating Instagram graphics with text overlays. It’s especially helpful for advertising, but also cute for personal announcements or sharing quotes! Android users can try Pixlr for similar features.
Do you find that you are often frustrated when it comes time to upload your perfectly edited photo to Instagram? While Instagram now allows you to post photos that aren’t square, they still enforce some pretty strict crop ratios.
Thankfully, there’s a free app for this too. Squaready adds white space around your photos so they can maintain your perfect crop while filling out the square format Instagram requires. This app is especially helpful for Instagram’s new slideshow feature that still requires a square crop!
We all know that hashtags are important, but how do you know which hashtags to use ? Focalmark is a simple and intuitive app that combines human research and a ranking algorithm to select appropriate hashtags for your photos.
Unlike purely automated apps, this approach ensures that the hashtags are relevant, but also helps you expand your photos’ reach. Focalmark is free with some in-app purchases. iOS users may also be interested in TagsDock, which offers similar features in the form of a custom keyboard.
7. Repost iOS, Android)
It’s generally considered poor online etiquette to share someone else’s photo without crediting them. While screenshotting and cropping a photo may seem easier, it’s not ideal.
The Repost app is almost as easy, and ensures that the original photographer gets credit for their work through a tag in your description. In a few simple steps you can share any other user’s photo to your profile page.
8. Link in Profile (Web)
Many Instagram users are frustrated by the platform’s insistence that only one link can be shared at a time — and only in the bio. For bloggers, vloggers, and online retailers, this is one of Instagram’s biggest limitations.
Link in Profile is the perfect work around to this problem. The link in your profile takes readers to a page that shows link preview content; all of this is done automatically, so you spend no extra time trying to come up with workarounds. Link in Profile is a paid service, but there is a 14-day free trial that takes under a minute to set up (no credit card details required).
Instagram is well-known for its food photos. Whether you are a cooking guru or just really want to share your breakfast with the world, Foodie is the ideal choice for showcasing your snack’s beauty.
The free app features tools to help you frame the perfect shot-from-above, filter your food until it looks too good to eat, and tweak the final touches using detailed editing tools.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a platform used for any number of functions, many of which have nothing to do with social media. Essentially, any action that occurs online is linked to other steps that then occur in a chain (called a recipe).
With respect to Instagram, the potential for IFTTT recipes is almost endless. Existing recipes include:
- Selectively posting Instagram photos to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Flickr when a certain hashtag is used.
- Automatically saving Instagram videos to Google Drive (recipe).
- Changing the background of your Android phone to your most recent Instagram (recipe).
- Changing the colors of your smart lights to match your most recent Instagram photo (recipe).
- Send your latest Instagrams directly to specific family members (recipe).
And if you can’t find the exact recipe you want, you can always create your own!
Using Instagram Like a Pro
Of course, there’s always more that you could do with Instagram. For such a seemingly simple social media platform, there are a lot of tricks and secrets to Instagram that can really set dedicated users apart.
Even if you have no desire to be #Instafamous or to gain followers outside of people you know in real life, chances are at least one of these apps will help you to create the images and feed that you want!
Do you use any apps regularly that I didn’t mention in this article? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
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