4 things you need to know about Instagram

If you’re anything like me, I get used to doing things in a routine and often become blissfully unaware that there is an easier way. So when I discovered a few nifty things about one of my favourite apps, Instagram, I thought I should share it with you all to hopefully make your image sharing lives a little easier. Here’s 4 things that you may not have known you can do on Instagram:

1. Simplify the filtering process

Goodbye Earlybird, you do not get the worm

Did you know there are 40 filters on Instagram? 40! I find most of the time I am always choosing between the same two or three filters – and they are listed no where near each other. So after scrolling back and forth about three times, I give up and just pick which ever one I’m on. In my head I can hear the lady from the cleaning commercial saying “there has to be an easier way!” and she’s right, there is. Instagram allows you to reorder the filter lineup so all of your favourites are side-by-side. Plus, you can also hide the ones you never use. Amazing.

How to? Scroll along to the end of the filter selection and select the ‘manage’ tile. When you hold your finger down on the three line icon on each filter, you will be able to drag and drop them into you desired order. To hide a filter completely, un-tick the checkbox and the line should then grey out. Hit ‘Done’ and hey, presto! Those scrolling days are gone.

2. Saving your mobile data one scroll at a time

Save, save, save!

Instagram, along with many of our social media feeds, can be quite data hungry. If you are restricted with how much data you can use per month, using social apps may be the silent assassin of your data allowance. Turning off automatic updates in your general settings is one solution, but now Instagram has an ‘in-app’ solution too. It will reduce the speed of loading photos and videos but the app still remains fit for purpose on the go. When you go into Wi-Fi, your Instagram app will begin functioning loading content at a normal speed.

How to? On your profile page, select the cog icon in the top righthand corner. Scroll down the page to the settings section and select ‘mobile data use’. In the new window, check the box labelled ‘use less data’. Now you can enjoy photo sharing whilst saving your precious data allowance.

3. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Are his eyes open? Let me check…

I own four sets of glasses and hardly wear any of them. If I need to see something close up, I’d take the modern (and admittedly, lazy) solution and pinch and expand my fingers on a tablet screen to zoom in and see things in detail. Until recently you couldn’t do this on Instagram. The only way to zoom in on a post was to take a screenshot, open in it photos and then zoom in. Here goes the lady in the cleaning commercial again, “there has to be an easier way!” and yet again, she’s right.

How to? Update you Instagram app to make sure you have all the latest features. When you see an image you’d like to zoom in on, pinch the part of the photo you want to see close up between your index finger and thumb, and expand the fingers out towards the edges of the screen. You’ll notice the rest of the Instagram interface will start to black out as the image begins to take up the full amount of your screen. There you have it – all the details of your following are now, literally, at your fingertips.

4. Wham, bam, no thank you spam

Goodbye random follow requests & poor language

If you use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite or Sprout, you might be familiar with filtering unwanted comments by registering key words. Instagram has a nifty filter built into the app which allows you enter in a list of words that if used, will automatically prevent the comment appearing on your post. It’s a simple way from preventing people swearing or commenting with spam like hashtags such as #followforfollow on your posts.

How to? On your profile page, select the cog icon in the top righthand corner. Scroll down the page to the settings section and select ‘comments’. In the new window, check the box labelled ‘hide inappropriate comments’. Doing this step will allow you to enter in a number of words or phrases in the text box below. Comments matching the content entered in the text box will then be hidden from your future posts. Phew!