Over 800 million people use Instagram every month, making it one of the biggest social networks around. There’s a lot more to it than sharing photos though. Check out these apps that take your Instagram to the next level.
Instagram has added several new features over the years, such as Instagram Stories, a robust website, and more. It’s no wonder the app grew to $2 billion in two years. Such constant innovation also leads to third-party developers coming up with ways to make your experience better.
From circumventing restrictions like the 15-second limit in Stories to bypassing the one-link problem, here are some innovative hacks disguised as apps.
1. 2017 Best Nine (Web) and Top Nine (Android, iOS): A Collage of Your Top Nine Posts of 2017
You might have seen this on your timeline already, as users are posting a neat collage of their most popular photos of the year. It might seem tough to do, and Instagram’s Layouts collage maker doesn’t help. So here’s how to make it.
Top Nine, an app for Android and iOS by BetaLabs, automates the whole process for you. Add your Instagram handle and it will mine through your feed to find which photos or videos got the most likes. And then it’ll create a 3×3 grid of it, ready to download and post on your Instagram. It works well, and apart from a watermark, it’s perfect.
If you don’t want the watermark, head to the web app 2017 Best Nine. Here you can find and share your best nine photos in a similar manner. The site even lets you choose to do only photos, eliminating video thumbnails from your collage.
2. CutStory (iOS) and Story Cutter (Android): Post Stories Longer Than 15 Seconds
Instagram has a 15-second limit to videos in Stories, much like it used to have for videos. Want to use Stories effectively and post longer than 15 seconds? These apps can do it for you.
Both CutStory and Story Cutter are hacks to bypass the limitation. Your stories appear in a queue, one after another. So these two apps take any video over 15 seconds and split it into 15-second clips. Upload the clips one after another and it seems like a complete story.
CutStory is much simpler and accurate than Story Cutter, which is probably why it also imposes a watermark. You’ll need to pay a dollar to remove the watermark, which is worth it once you see the results.
With Story Cutter, make sure you share the videos in the right order from your gallery. They don’t always save in the correct order, so pay attention while uploading.
3. Campsite (Web): Hack Instagram’s One-Link Limit
Instagram does not allow users to add links to captions in photos. The only place where you can add a link is in your bio or profile page. The folks at Campsite used this for a neat trick to add more than one link.
Go to Campsite and register with your Instagram account, to get a unique page with your own URL. Add this link to your Instagram profile page.
Back at Campsite, you can edit this page to add several other links, all presented in a mobile-friendly interface. It’s easy to add new buttons with a custom name and link. Similarly, you can attach links to your other social profiles, with their icons.
Campsite is a useful no-coding tool to build your own website, that’s simple and aimed at Instagram users. Most importantly, Campsite makes it easy to edit your page so you can keep adding and deleting links whenever you want.
4. TagsDock (iOS) and Magnify (Android): Copy-Paste Top Hashtags for Instagram
Instagram doesn’t allow retweets, so the only real way to find other users you might like is through the Discover tab. But to get featured in that, you need to have more hashtags in your post.
There are a bunch of methods to find the best hashtags for more likes and followers. But the simplest is through two of these cool apps: TagsDock and Magnify. These apps track the trending tags for any topic you are interested in posting about, and will suggest the ones people are searching for or seeing. Tap to copy, tap to paste, it couldn’t be simpler.
Magnify goes one step further as its smart AI “looks” at your photo and identifies the best hashtags for it. So you aren’t choosing the topic, Magnify is doing it for you.
When you are limited to just 30 hashtags per post, this is a better way to get the right hashtags in than to rely on your own expertise.
5. Instagram Map (Web): Browse Your Photos Based on Location
In 2016, Instagram killed the Maps feature that let you browse photos based on the location they were taken. While there isn’t a way to browse like before, you can still create a map of your own photos at The Data Pack.
Grant it access to your Instagram account and it will fetch photos from the last 90 days geo-tagged with a location. Photos without a geo-tag won’t be retrieved, so this isn’t a full list of all your pictures. You can also control the size of the photos in their preview, filter the list by hashtags, and change the theme of the map.
The Data Pack’s map builder is also embeddable, so you can generate a code for it and add it to your own website or homepage. Might be worthwhile to create that and then stick it into your Campsite bio link.
What Annoys You About Instagram?
I can’t figure out why Instagram still doesn’t allow users to add a link to captions. It’s one of the most annoying parts of the app and something that I hope to see fixed soon.