By Dave Avran
Instagram has become the favourite social network for many – and not just for teens or Millennials. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 32% of online adults use Instagram – up 5% from the previous year. Compare that, for example, to 24% on Twitter. People don’t just use Instagram casually; 35% of them use it several times each day.
For those who have never used the platform, or those who just want to take their usage to the next level, Instagram has some lesser-known tricks and features. That’s why we set out to find them and list them all in one place.
1) Get notifications when your favourite people post.
Never want to miss an Instagram post from your favourite influencers again? You can choose to get a notification every time a specific user posts a new photo. All you have to do is turn on notifications for each user individually.
To turn on these notifications, visit a user’s profile, click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the post, and choose “Turn on Post Notifications” from the menu. Want to turn post notifications off? Just follow the same steps. It’s important to note that you must enable notifications from the Instagram app in your phone’s settings.
2) See all the posts you’ve Liked.
Ever wanted to see the posts you’ve Liked, all in one place? All you have to do is go to your own profile and click the “Options” button — a gear icon on iPhone/iPad, and three dots on Android — then, click “Posts You’ve Liked.” To un-Like any of the posts you’ve Liked, simply go to the post and deselect the “heart” icon below it. Don’t worry, the user won’t be notified that you’ve un-Liked the post.
3) Create a collection of saved posts.
In addition to being able to view all of the posts you’ve liked, Instagram has an option to save or bookmark certain posts in collections that you create. Start by going to your profile, and tapping the bookmark icon on the top-right menu above your photos. Select the “Collections” tab, and tap “Create Collection.” Hit “done,” and you can start adding photos to your collection. To do so, tap the bookmark icon below the post you want to add.
Then, go back to your saved photos by following the previous steps. You’ll see the photos you’ve saved. To add them to your collection, select the collection you want to add to, and tap “Add to Collection.” From there, you can add any of your saved photos.
4) See the posts your friends have recently Liked or commented on.
When you’re looking to discover new people to follow on Instagram, there’s nothing like asking your friends. There’s a quick way to do that – by viewing the recent liking and commenting activity of the people you follow.
To do that, click the heart icon at the bottom of the home screen — the first thing that should appear is a list of likes and comments on your photos. Choose the tab near the top that says “Following,” and you can see the activity of users you follow.
5) Look through pictures without worrying about accidentally Liking them.
This step is more of a hack than a feature. To look through someone’s Instagram photos without “double-tap paranoia” – the fear of accidentally liking a post you didn’t mean to engage with, scroll through Instagram feeds with your phone set to airplane mode. Without internet access, you won’t be able to Like a photo, even if you accidentally double-tap it.
The pictures won’t load in the first place if you start on airplane mode, though. You’ll have to go to the feed first to load the posts, then turn on airplane mode, then start scrolling. When you reach the end of the first rows of posts and want to load more, simply turn airplane mode off, let more load, and then turn it on again. Cumbersome? Maybe a little, but it could be worth the paranoia mitigation.
To turn on airplane mode on an iPhone/iPad: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and click the airplane icon. Or, go to “Settings” and then “Wi-Fi,” and switch “Airplane Mode” on. To turn on airplane mode on an Android device: Swipe down from the top of the screen. Then, swipe from right to left until you see “Settings,” and then touch it. Touch “Airplane Mode” to turn it on.