It came silently and quickly surpassed other social networks that had higher expectations like Google+ or Pinterest. Instagram is well and truly cemented in our digital lives and it’s among the top five social networks that brands love.
From a user functionality perspective it’s easy to use. You upload a photo, custom it with a filter (if you so desire), add descriptive text and share it. Since Facebook bought Instagram, there have been some brand new features and alterations: Gone are the frames that you used to add to pictures, and brands have the possibility of investing media money behind their posts. The reason it’s so effective is because it keeps it simple. After all a picture does paint a thousand words.
There are some apps that can make your life on Instagram much easier and improve your experience on the platform. I have compiled our favourites (this does not include professional edition apps which deserve a post of their own).
Although Instagram doesn’t like “collage” images you can do some interesting compositions with Layout, an app owned by Instagram. It offers different formats depending on the number of pictures you want to include in the collage and allows you to zoom, change their position, and much more.
How many times have you complained about seeing a nice picture on Instagram and yet you can’t share it on your profile? This is one of the strangest absences on Instagram, and therefore there are several apps to solve this problem. I use Repost. Basically it shows the pics of all the users you follow and allows you to repost them in your own profile, always with a watermark (you can custom colour and position) with the name of the original instagramer.
Do you ever think of downloading pics from Instagram? You can make a copy after uploading them, but if you forget to do it you are lost! With Instasave you can download all the pictures you want, it doesn’t matter if they are yours or from other users. They always come with a copyright disclaimer that not all users take too seriously…
This app has some other features, some of which are a bit dubious. You have the option of buying likes for your images, you can share them to other social networks or, like Repost, share an image from other users in your Instagram profile.
The biggest frustration for many agencies and brands with Instagram is being unable to schedule content. This is a regular activity for community managers that can be done with ease on multiple platforms in the case of Facebook and Twitter, to name just two.
After testing more than a dozen apps that promised scheduling posts on Instagram, I found Wisel.it. I couldn’t find a mobile version, so it can only be used through a browser
If your account has fewer than 1,000 followers, you can obtain a fee account. The only flaw is you cannot schedule videos.
Time-Lapse is a format that has succeed on Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo, and Vine. Instagram takes it to the next level with Hyperlapse. It makes the camera much more stable and makes frames “fuse”, even though the camera is not in the same position during the recording. It is widely used in sunsets, action scenes, and sports. The possibilities are endless.
Here you can see some examples of videos created using Hyperlapse.
This is Instagram’s latest experiments. I can’t still say what it is its purpose, but I have fun experimenting with it. It generates a short video from 10 pics and makes it play in a loop backwards and forward. The app was launched in October and I recommend to try it with friends. You will have fun.