Instagram is an ever-evolving platform, with countless features and nuances that can truly take your user experience, as both a creator and a consumer, to the next level.
Whether you’re looking to grow your following, create more engaging content, or simply get the most out of your time spent on the platform, these hidden gems will revolutionize your game as an Instagram Viewer.
Dive into Dark Mode
Instagram, like many other apps, offers a dark mode option. This can be easier on the eyes, especially in low-light conditions. To activate dark mode:
- iOS: Go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Dark.
- Android: Go to Settings > Display > Dark theme.
Instagram will then seamlessly switch, aligning with your device’s overall theme.
Master the ‘Close Friends’ Feature
Want to share a post or story with a select group of followers? Use the ‘Close Friends’ feature. It allows you to curate a list of followers who can view exclusive content.
To use this:
- Go to your profile.
- Click on the three horizontal lines (menu) in the top right.
- Select ‘Close Friends’ and add desired followers to the list.
Now, when posting a story, you’ll see the option to share exclusively with your ‘Close Friends.’
Control Your Content Consumption
Instagram’s algorithm can sometimes clutter your feed. Fortunately, you can mute accounts, ensuring you see content from your favorite profiles first.
To mute an account:
- Click on the three dots on the top right of a post from the account.
- Select ‘Mute’ and choose whether to mute posts, stories, or both.
This allows you to tailor your feed without unfollowing anyone.
Play with Hidden Story Features
Instagram Stories are versatile and come with hidden features:
- Color Match: Use the color dropper tool to match text or drawing colors to any part of your photo.
- Hidden Hashtags: Want to use hashtags without cluttering your story? Type them out, then pinch and shrink them until they disappear or hide them behind a sticker or GIF.
Peek Before You Dive
Curious about a post but don’t want to fully open it? You can press and hold on the post thumbnail in grid view, and a larger preview will pop up without marking the post as seen.
Perfect Your Bio
Your bio is the first impression for many. Maximize its potential:
- Clickable Hashtags & Profiles: Add other usernames or hashtags, making them clickable links.
- Line Breaks: Craft a spaced-out bio by writing it in a notes app and copying it over.
Explore the ‘Saved’ Tab
Found a post you love? Save it for later. Just click the bookmark icon below the post. To access later, go to your profile and click on the same bookmark icon. You can even organize saved posts into collections.
Restrict Unwanted Followers
If you have followers who are bothersome but you don’t want to block them, use the ‘Restrict’ option. They won’t know they’ve been restricted, but their comments on your posts will only be visible to them unless approved by you.
Seamless Grid Photos
Ever seen profiles with large images spanning multiple posts? You can do this too! Apps like ‘Grid Maker’ or ‘9Cut’ can split photos into segments, which you can then upload in sequence for a seamless grid look.
Go Beyond Basic Filters
Did you know Instagram has more than the default 24 filters? Scroll to the end of your filters list and click on ‘Manage.’ Here, you can access hidden filters and organize their order.
Revamp Stories with External Apps
Level up your stories by integrating third-party apps:
- Unfold: Offers unique templates.
- Canva: Provides customizable design elements.
- InShot: Great for editing video clips.
Integrate these tools for more polished and diverse stories.
Limit Screen Time
Concerned about your time spent on the platform? Instagram’s ‘Your Activity’ feature lets you monitor your usage and set daily time limits. Navigate to your profile settings to explore this tool.
Want to see every post you’ve ever liked? Go to Settings > Account > Posts You’ve Liked. It’s a fun way to reminisce or find that one post you remember double-tapping.
Tailored Explore Page
Your Explore page is tailored to your interactions. To refine it:
- Enhance: Like or engage with posts to see more of similar content.
- Filter Out: Click on a post, then tap the three dots and select ‘Not Interested.’
Access Hidden Message Requests
Some direct messages may not immediately appear in your inbox. Check ‘Message Requests’ in the top right corner of your DM page for messages from non-followers.
Embrace AR Filters
Instagram’s AR filters are ever-growing. Beyond those created by Instagram, many users design custom filters. Check out their profiles and click the sparkling face icon to see available filters.
Check Connectivity Status
Curious if someone’s online? The Direct Messages section shows tiny green dots next to users who are currently active.
Rapid Post Browsing
When looking through a profile, switch to horizontal browsing by clicking on a post and swiping left or right. It’s faster and more immersive.
Curious where a profile has been tagged? Below their bio, switch from grid view to the person icon to see all posts they’ve been tagged in.
For a speedy response to a story, drag the message bar up to instantly send a heart or other emoji.
How can I switch back to the regular mode after activating the ‘Dark Mode’?
Just as you activated Dark Mode, you can deactivate it. On iOS, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Light. For Android users, navigate to Settings > Display > Light theme. Instagram will align with your device’s theme setting.
Are there any limitations on how many ‘Close Friends’ I can add to my exclusive list?
As of my last update in September 2021, Instagram doesn’t specify an exact limit to the number of ‘Close Friends’ you can have. However, like all features, it’s a good idea to use it genuinely rather than maxing out just to segment audiences.
If I mute someone, will they be notified of the action?
No, when you mute an account, they aren’t notified. The action simply adjusts your feed without affecting your relationship with the account or their metrics.
Are there any apps you recommend for creating the ‘seamless grid’ look on my profile?
Absolutely! Apps like ‘Grid Maker’ and ‘9Cut’ are popular choices. They allow you to split your photos into segments, which can be uploaded sequentially to achieve the seamless grid look.
Can I undo the ‘Restrict’ action if I change my mind later?
Yes, you can un-restrict an account at any time. Go to the user’s profile, click on the three dots in the upper right, and select “Unrestrict.”
Do third-party apps for enhancing stories, like ‘Unfold’ or ‘Canva’, cost money?
While many third-party apps offer free versions with a plethora of features, there may be premium versions available that come with additional features or remove watermarks. It’s best to check the app’s details in your device’s app store for specific pricing information.
The intricacies of Instagram are vast and ever-changing, much like an intricate tapestry with hidden details waiting to be uncovered. With each secret you unearth, you open doors to new realms of creativity and connection. Don’t just scroll and tap—dive deep, explore, and play.
Let these tips and tricks be your compass, guiding you to uncharted territories of Instagram. As you navigate, remember that while tools and tricks are great, genuine engagement and authentic content are the heartbeats of any successful social media journey. Happy exploring!