If you know a few hidden Instagram Hacks and Features, you can get so much more out of the Instagram platform (and engage better with your followers).
In this post we're rounding up some of my favourite Instagram hacks, tools and features so you can find them all in one place.
BY DONNA MORITZ | 21 JULY, 2018
Be warned… there are plenty of Instagram hacks and features in this post!
Just about every time Instagram adds an update there is a new tool or feature in the mix – but we don't always hear about them!
Although I call them Instagram Hacks, that's really just for fun. What I'm referring to is the fact that Instagram updates come at us thick and fast, and many features lie right under our noses. We just may not realise we can use them until someone shows us.
I'm showing you!
Now you can have the inside knowledge too with a whole bunch of Instagram hacks and features in this post. Let's jump in and take a look at all 17 Hidden Instagram Hacks and Features!
17 Hidden Instagram Hacks and Features
We'll break the Instagram Hacks into Camera Features, Bio Features, Instagram Feed and Hacks and Features in Instagram Stories.
This hidden camera features is one of my favourite Instagram Hacks right now for taking photos and video in general. This may help you if you don't have a great camera on your phone or a lot of apps for editing.
1. Use Instagram as a Camera and for Editing (even if you don't post to Instagram)
You can use Instagram to create and edit photos and videos without even saving them to Instagram. Here's how:
(a) Use the Focus Feature in Instagram Stories
The Focus Camera format is a fabulous camera feature from Instagram. It sits next to your regular camera, Boomerang, and a bunch of other fun camera effects and it's great for selfie mode or portraits:
You don't have to just use it for Instagram though! Here's how you can use this feature for photos and video you don't want to post to Instagram:
1. Choose the camera icon in the top left of Instagram to open up Instagram Stories.
2. Go to the settings along the bottom and swipe to the left until you see Focus and choose that setting.
3. Now take a photo on the forward or reverse-facing camera (by tapping the button) OR take a video (by holding down the button). You will need to get your camera in position to achieve the background blur. Do this by focusing on a face or if you don't have a person, try to focus in on an object first.
4. Choose the Save icon at the top of the screen (the arrow pointing down) and it will save the photo to your camera roll. You can then choose whether you post it to your Story. But you don't have to.
Here's an example of a photo that I took with Focus, but never posted to Instagram. I just saved it before sharing, then deleted out of the app. Notice the softly blurred background? This tool rarely takes a bad photo!
Either way you will still have a copy of the completed photo in your camera roll to use later! Here's a still shot of a video created by my friend and Social Media Specialist, Lisa Monks (Chipmonk Media). Lisa has used the blur feature to give a cool effect to her video. In this case she's posted her video to Instagram Stories but she could also choose to save it as a raw video using the steps above.
Now you can take photos with a professional photography feature without buying an expensive camera (or phone).
NOTE: I have the portrait feature on my iPhone where I can blur backgrounds, but being able to do this with video is awesome, so I find myself using Focus in Instagram Stories more and more!
(b) Editing photos and videos in Instagram.
If you are editing an image in Instagram you could simply take a screenshot of it to save it to your camera roll – and then choose not to save it to Instagram.
Another way is to use Airplane Mode to help you:
1. Go to Options (top right 3 dots on your profile).
2. Scroll down and Choose Original Photos then Save Original Photos.
3. Then turn on Airplane Mode on your phone in your phone settings so that your phone is offline.
4. Prepare your image to post to Instagram as usual Upload it and edit it (you don't need to worry about a caption) and then press Share.
5. You will receive an error message because your phone is essentially offline. However your phone will have saved the image to the camera roll. Winning!
6. Cancel out of Instagram and go and find the finished image in your camera roll gallery! Woot!
Instagram Bio Features
2. Add Multiple Links to your Instagram Bio
As you would most likely know, there is only one link allowed in your bio. Now, I'm all for being specific about where you want people to go, and there are times where I will absolutely send people to one single link on my website. But sometimes you have more than one thing you want to show people.
You might have a launch on or a product you are promoting but you also want to send them to your blog, for example. If you wish to share more than one link, there are 3 options:
One of the best, most visual appealing options for this is Planoly. They have a shoppable link option (ShopLink) in their plan where Planoly basically re-creates your entire Pinterest feed visually in the background. You then get a unique link to add to your bio called a ShopLink.
Wen someone clicks on your unique Planoly “link” they are taken to a webpage where they can see all the images on your feed, but they are now clickable. Here's how it works:
You can tag products on your posts, or or delete images from the feed that are not shoppable and you get detailed analytics.
The only catch here is that this is a rather expensive as an add-on for Planoly's regular plan – at around $40 per month (paid annually) for Shoppable Links, so I recommend this for seriously product-based businesses. Planoly itself you'll see listed below in this post. It's a great scheduling tool for Instagram for many other reasons.
I have used Later over the years for Intstagram Scheduling and it's a solid tool. The great thing about Later is that they include Linkin.Bio (the name of their tool) to their Premium plan and above at $19 per month (which includes all of the other cool Later Scheduling features). Find out more about it here.
Linktree is a popular tool for adding more than one link to your bio as you can get started for free or pay to have a branded page. Here's a snapshot of the dashboard on the left and the preview of what a mobile user will see when clicking through from my Instagram account:
To create your Linktree account it's similar to the tools above… sign up for Linktree, then add your links and then you are given a Linktree URL. Add this to your bio as with the tools above. You can now send people to your Linktree landing page hwere you can list multiple links or specific content they can click through to.
Hot Tip: You can also set up one of these landing pages on your own blog which I am contemplating doing. All you need is some of your links listed or you can get creative with design and add images too. Why? It sends people to your own blog post in the first instance so it's a good way to go.
Instagram Feed Features
3. Save Posts from your Instagram Feed to your Instagram Story
This is an awesome feature. Especially if you are stuck for what to post in your Instagram Stories! It lets your audience know on Instagram Stories that you have a new post in the feed.
Yep, that's right, no more workarounds to let Story viewers know you have a new post on the feed. You can use this feature in just a couple of clicks!
As you probably realise, engagement on the Instagram feed has seemed to drop off, while Instagram Story views and engagement seems to be rising all the time. So why not refer back from one to the other? Here's how it works:
1. Post your image to your Instagram Feed.
2. Choose that same image and open it up. Then choose the paper plane symbol below the image.
3. Instagram will show you a new screen with two options (a) to Add Post to your Story or (b) choose friends to send it to. Choose to Add Post to your Story.
4. Instagram Stories will open up with the post on the screen ready to go, like in this following example. Note that Instagram intuitively adds a background colour that matches your image!
5. If you follow the instructions to Tap for More you will get a some basic detail added to your post like your profile and the first line or two of your caption.
6. You can also use your fingers to change the size of the image of the feed post or change the position, as follows:
Where did the baby pineapples come from? I added GIF stickers (yes, their eyes move) as well as some text.
HOT TIP: Reserve this feature for important posts like new blog posts, a new podcast or video. Or do it for a post where you ask your audience to engage in some way, like a question:
4. Embed Instagram Posts on your Website (that actually look good!).
This is one of the Instagram hacks I had been searching for and I recently worked it out! I love to embed Instagram feed images on my blog posts to showcase a brand or person, or perhaps to illustrate a strategy.
But the embed code renders the images in a way that is not ideal – they are left justified and not centred on your blog post, and just don't look great in their default form.
But.. you change that. To do so you need to:
1. Open up Instagram on your desktop computer and find the Instagram Image you want to embed on your blog. Choose the 3 black dots in the bottom right corner.