12 Instagram Tips and Tricks to Try

Some helpful ways to enhance your Instagram experience

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Introduction

Instagram is one of the largest and most popular social networks, but it has to continuously change and adapt to keep users interested. Gone are the days when it was just a simple little app for sharing photos with vintage filters. Today, it has all sorts of hidden features that aren't apparent through casual use. Here are 12 Instagram tricks and tips you need to know.

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See Who Unfollowed You on Instagram

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Automatically Filter Inappropriate Comments

This young person is hiding behind a false identity and is acting like a troll online.

 RichVintage / Getty Images

We all know that trolls love Instagram. Just take a look at any post from a user with more than 10,000 followers, and you're almost guaranteed to stumble across at least one very mean comment.

Instagram allows users to hide inappropriate comments by filtering out certain customizable keywords. To use this feature, tap your profile, then tap the Menu (three lines) at the top right. Tap Settings > Privacy > Comments, and then toggle on Manual Filter to set specific words and phrases to be blocked.

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Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, and Skip Through Stories

Jump backward icon abstract digital design blue background

 BlueJay / Getty Images

The introduction of Stories was quite the gutsy move for Instagram. Like Snapchat, they're meant to be over in a few seconds. If you turn your head or zone out while watching a story, you could miss out on the content.

Lucky for you, you don't have to watch a story all over again if you miss it. To pause a story, tap and hold on the screen. To rewind, tap the top left of the screen (beneath the user's profile photo and username). To fast-forward through a user's multiple stories, tap the screen. To skip an entire user's stories, swipe left.

You can also repost an Instagram story to your own audience if it makes sense.

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Mute Stories From Specific Users You Follow

Young woman with tape on her mouth.

solidcolours / Getty Images

The thing about Instagram is that it's too easy and enticing to follow hundreds (possibly even thousands) of users, making it difficult to find the stories worth watching. But if you don't want to unfollow the users whose stories you're not interested in, what can you do?

Instagram allows you to mute any user's stories so they won't show up in your feed. To do this, tap and hold the user's Stories bubble, and then select Mute. This action fades their bubble and pushes it to the very end of the feed. Navigate to their story and unmute at any time if you change your mind.

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Allow Messages on Stories Only From Followers You Follow Back

Image of a catfishing message on Instagram

 Tero Vesalainen\Getty Images

By default, Instagram allows all of your followers to reply to your stories. If you have a very popular account and aren't interested in being bombarded by a flood of messages from a bunch of complete strangers, you can change this setting.

Go to your profile and tap Menu (three lines) > Settings > Privacy > Story. Under Allow Message Replies, tap Followers You Follow Back. Alternatively, turn off message replies completely.

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Hide Your Stories From Specific Users

A woman resharing an Instagram Story with the iPhone Instagram app in a cafe.

hocusfocus/iStock/GettyImagesPlus

If your Instagram account is public, anyone can see your stories if they navigate to your profile and tap your photo. If you have followers you'd prefer didn't have access to your stories, it's easy to block this access.

To hide your stories, go to your profile and tap Menu (three lines) > Settings > Privacy > Story. Tap Hide Story From, and then select specific people to hide your story from.

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Use Boomerang or Layout in Your Instagram Story

Boomerang From Instagram app

Boomerang, which is an Instagram app, lets you create a GIF-like post with short, subtle movements (but no sound). Layout lets you combine several photos as a collage into one post.

If you have Boomerang or Layout on your phone, access them from within Instagram. Tap Add Post (plus sign), then tap Story on the bottom menu. Tap Boomerang or Layout, then create your Boomerang or Layout. Tap Send to, then, next to Your Story, tap Share.

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Sort Your Filters to Put Your Favorite Ones First

Instagram edit tools
Instagram edit tools. Evi Abeler

Instagram currently has lots of different filters to choose from. Many users tend to favor just a couple, and it can be a pain to scroll through all the filters to find your favorite one when you're in a rush to post something. It's easy to sort your filters so the ones you use the most are right there at the beginning.

In the filter box, tap and hold a filter to drag it to the beginning of the list. Tap and hold any filter to move it and personalize your list with all your favorites easily accessible.

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Turn on Post Notifications for Posts From Specific Users

Instagram logo

Instagram

Whether you follow too many Instagram accounts, you may miss posts from some of your favorite people. It's easy to set up a notification when a certain account posts so you can see it as soon as possible.

To turn on post notifications, tap the three dots that appear in the upper right corner of any user's post or on their profile. and select Turn On Post Notifications. You can turn them back off any time you want.

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Share a Post by Direct Messaging One or Multiple Users

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When it comes to letting your friends know about another user's post you want them to see, the general trend is to tag them in a comment. The friend receives a notification that they were tagged in a post so they can check it out.

The problem with this trend is that friends who receive lots of likes and comments and follows may not see that you tagged them in the comments of a post you want them to see. A better way to share someone else's post with them is by direct messaging them with it.

To send a post via direct message, tap the arrow button beneath any post, and then choose who you want to send it to.

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Switch From a Personal Profile to a Business Profile

A picture of someone holding up a smartphone showing an Instagram profile.
A smartphone showing an Instagram profile.

Like Facebook Pages, Instagram now has profiles for businesses where you can market to your audience and engage with them. If you already use a regular Instagram profile to market your business or organization, you don't have to create a whole new account. Instead, change it into a business account.

Tap your profile, then tap Menu (three lines) > Settings > Account. Scroll down and tap Switch to Professional Account and then follow the prompts.

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See a Feed of Posts You Previously Liked

Instagram Likes
Photo Muchomor / Getty Images

One of the main interactive features of Instagram is, of course, the heart button. Tap that heart (or double-tap on the post) to let the poster know you liked it. But what if you want to return to a certain post you previously liked and can't remember where to find it?

To see what posts you've liked, go to your profile > Menu (three lines) > Settings > Account. Tap Posts You've Liked, then scroll through to find the post you were looking for.

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Zoom in on a Post for a Closer Look

Hand holding a magnifying glass
StockUnlimited

Instagram is primarily for mobile devices, and sometimes those small screens really don't do photos and videos justice. That's why Instagram decided to introduce a zoom feature. Just pinch your index finger and thumb on the area of the post you want to zoom in on and widen them apart on the screen.

You can also do this to zoom in on Boomerang posts and on videos.

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