20 Hidden Instagram Tricks and Features You Might Not Know About

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Do you ever feel a little behind in your Instagram knowledge?

You can probably get around and do the basics just fine. However, when you look at everybody else around you, they seem way more advanced.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Social media platforms are always changing, and can be difficult to navigate even for experienced users. Don’t let that discourage you, though. It’s never too late to learn and improve.

If you want to step up your Instagram game, here are 20 tips, tricks, hacks and features that will help take you to the next level.

1. Delete any comment on your posts.

Is there an unsavory or inappropriate comment that somebody left on your post that you’d like to remove?

No problem! All you have to do is touch the speech bubble below the post, swipe to the left on the comment and select the trash-can symbol. 

Furthermore, you can delete your own comments on any post if you wish. Just follow the same instructions.

2. Organize saved posts in collections.

If you’ve ever wanted to group your favorite posts by a theme, then you should try making a collection.

First, to save other people’s images and put them in your collections, just tap the bookmark symbol under their post.

Now go to your profile. Above your photos should be a row of icons. Tap the bookmark button on the far right.

Choose the Collections tab and tap the + icon at the top to create a new collection. After naming the collection, hit Next and select any saved images you want added to the collection. Hit Next one more time when you are finished.

3. Put multiple pictures in one post.

Earlier this year, Instagram expanded their photo-uploading capabilities. Now you can include up to 10 pictures in a single post.

Start by pressing the + icon, as you would  normally do when making a new post. Then tap the Select Multiple button on the right, which looks like 2 nearly overlapping squares.

After selecting the pictures you want, press Next to pick your filters, and press Next again to add captions before submitting.

4. Receive notifications when others make new posts.

There are plenty of reasons to follow somebody on Instagram. The account you follow could be somebody who followed you first, a potential follower with shared interests, an important influencer or a rival brand you want to keep an eye on.

To get notified whenever an account makes a new post, simply go to their profile and tap on the gear icon (or 3 dots if you’re on Android) at the top of the page. This will give you a list of options. Select Turn On Notifications, and you’re done.

You can also access this feature from any post made by the account you want to follow. The same gear/3 dots should appear across from the account’s name at the top.

5. Manage your filters.

Not every filter is going to strike your aesthetic fancy. There are probably a few that you don’t care for and would rather not see again. You can use our platform, Owlmetrics, to measure which photo filter receives the most engagement.

There are also probably some filters that you like and use often, and wish were pushed toward the top for the sake of convenience. Well, you can do just that.

To organize your filters, make a new post and get to the filter page as you’d usually do. Swipe through the list of filters until you reach the end. Click the Manage button. This will take you to a page where you can reorder the filters as you please.

Press your finger down on the 3 gray lines next to the filter, and then drag it up or down to rearrange them. If you want to hide them, tap the checkmark on the right.

6. Edit photos without posting them.

Sometimes you don’t want to upload a photo yet, but still want to have it edited in advance. You might also want to be able to post it across multiple social media platforms in addition to Instagram.

There’s an easy way to use Instagram as a standalone photo editor. Before doing anything else, you should turn on the Save Original Photos option. This is located on your settings page, which you can access through your profile by clicking on the gear/3 dots.

Following that, you need to enable airplane mode on your phone. Then proceed to create a new post and edit your photo. Airplane mode will disrupt the upload and cause an error after you hit Share. However, it will still save to the photo gallery on your phone.

Now you can publish it whenever you feel like.

7. Add a line break.

Do your bio or captions ever feel too crowded? Have you ever wondered how other people are able to space the text out with line breaks?

While writing out some text, press the 123 button on your keyboard to switch the format. The Return key should now be in the lower right corner. Pressing this key will move the text to a new line.

This trick might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Use it to make your text look neater and easier to read.

8. Hide extra hashtags.

If you want your content to get discovered on Instagram, you’re going to need to use hashtags. But too many hashtags can make your captions look like a busy mess.

There are a few ways that you can avoid unnecessary clutter.

One thing that you can do is use line breaks. Refer to the entry above this one if you don’t know how to make them. Any text after 3 lines is hidden, and only viewable if somebody selects the More option.

Another option is to leave hashtags out of your captions entirely. Instead, you can put them in a comment to your post.

9. Adjust filter intensity.

Is there a filter that you enjoy, but wish were a bit more subtle?

Filters are set to maximum intensity by default. You can adjust them by tapping the filter twice in a row. This will bring up a slider that you can use to diminish or increase its strength.

When you have it at your preferred level, hit Done and you can move on to posting it.

10. Put a border on your image.

Double-tapping a filter also brings up another feature. To the right of the intensity slider is a box-like icon. Tap it to add a border to the picture.

Borders used to be a staple on Instagram, but have recently waned in popularity. Nevertheless, they can be used to give your photos a cool retro feel that will make them stand out.

11. Create and manage multiple accounts.

For some brands, it’s absolutely necessary to have multiple Instagram accounts. Your business may simply have too many facets to fit into a single, cohesive space.

Luckily, Instagram has made it easier to add accounts. Last year they introduced the ability to have up to 5 interconnected accounts.

To create an account, go to your profile page and click on the Options icon to bring up your settings. Scroll all the way down to Add New Account and tap on it. Put in the name and password of your other account, and then log in.

Now you can switch between accounts on the fly without having to log off each time. Tap on your username at the top of your profile, and you’ll get a drop-down list of accounts to select from.

12. Set up 2-factor authentication.

You can never be too cautious when it comes to digital security. There’s always the threat that your account can be compromised by hackers trying to get around the system.

If you ever want to add an extra layer of protection, you can enable 2-factor authentication.

Tap the gear icon/3 dots on the top of your page to go to your Options page. Under Account, you should find Two-factor Authentication. Clicking on it will bring you to a page with a toggle labeled Require Security Code. Turning it on will bring up a text prompt telling you that Instagram will text your phone a security code every time you log on.

If your Instagram isn’t already connected to a phone number, you will be asked to provide one.

13. Clean up your search history.

There’s no shame in wanting to wipe away your history. Some of us aren’t comfortable with our searches being saved permanently. Thankfully Instagram gives us the option to clear it.

Click the Options icon on your profile and scroll down to Clear Search History. After tapping it, confirm that you are certain you want it erased. Now you have nothing to worry about!

14. Hide unwanted tagged photos.

Being tagged in other users’ photos can be a great way to spread brand awareness. However, this isn’t always a positive thing. Occasionally you’ll find yourself tagged in content that you don’t want to be associated with.

Don’t fret over it. You can hide these photos so that others can’t see them.

If you want to hide all tagged photos, go to your profile. Below your bio is a row of icons. Click on the one that looks like a person on a box, to the left of the bookmark icon. This will bring you to your Photos of You section.

Tap the settings icon in the upper right corner. You will be given the option to Hide Photos. This won’t remove the posts from the website, but it will keep them from appearing on your profile.

If you still want tagged photos to show up on your profile, you can set it up so you approve each post individually. Go to the Photos of You section, click the settings icon and then choose Tagging Options. There you can select Add Manually.

15. Change links in your bio.

You don’t have to keep the same link in your bio if you don’t want to. Feel free to change it out every once in a while.

Some brands like to change it every time they want to feature a new campaign. You can draw attention to it by mentioning the link in the caption of your latest posts.

16. Find an image’s URL.

There are many benefits to browsing Instagram on a desktop or laptop. For instance, you can easily obtain a direct URL to any image on the website.

Right-click on the picture you want, and select View Page Source. This will open a new tab with the page’s source code. You should be able to find a direct link to the image in there.

17. View the activity of the people you follow.

Want to keep tabs on somebody and see what they’ve been doing?

Tap the heart icon at the bottom of your home page and you’ll be brought to your activity tab. Then switch it from You to Following at the top. There you will see the activity of everybody that you follow.

18. Embed Instagram posts on WordPress.

If you have a website that uses WordPress, you can embed Instagram posts in your pages.

Open up the post in a browser window on your computer. There should be 3 dots in the lower right corner of the post. Click on this to bring up a set of options and choose Embed. There will be a button to press labeled Copy Embed Code, and also a check-mark box if you want to include captions.

After that, all you need to do is paste the code directly into the desired WordPress post.

19. Link to other accounts in your Stories.

Instagram Stories offers a bevy of features that put it ahead of competitors like Snapchat. An example of this is the ability to link to other users’ profiles in your Stories.

While making a Story, tap the Aa button to include text. Type @ and then the username you want to mention, with no space between them. You will be given a list of accounts to select from. Pick the one you want.

You can link up to 10 separate accounts per Story. Whoever you mention will receive a notification about it.

20. Share a Story to your main feed.

Feeling particularly proud of a Story? Why not post it to your main profile too, so everybody can check it out?

Open the story and click on the 3 dots in the lower right corner. Select the Share as Post option. You’ll then be able to edit, caption and publish it like you would any regular post.

About the author

Neal Hallenbeck

Neal Hallenbeck is a graduate of Adrian College. He is a freelance writer, media critic and computer game designer.

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