Instagram is one of those social media platforms that are not only fun to use but also provide some serious amount of exposure, depending on how you use it. People have been using the platform for years to engage with their friends, expand their social circles, and even sell their products or promote brands to turn it into a viable source of income.
Now, if you’re wondering why your photos don’t get the attention you want them to get, maybe you need to start doing some things differently. There are a lot of ways to get more attention on Instagram but if you ask me, the first thing you need to do is make sure your posts are as visually stunning as they can be. To do that, you should raise your editing skills to the next level by using any number of the following apps and tips.
Go Monochrome for a Dramatic Effect
There’s a reason why so many people practice monochrome photography – it exudes timelessness. I find that some images just scream to be made into black and white photos, and for that you need to have the relevant apps on your phone.
Two of the best applications that I’ve found for creating black and white pictures are BLACK (iOS) and Hypocam (Android). BLACK is a great app to quickly give your existing photos a black and white treatment by using vintage film presets. Easy to use, with various manual controls over the final images, BLACK is a great way to delve into the world of monochrome photography.
For Android users, I can suggest Hypocam in a heartbeat. Upon launching the app, you are greeted with a live viewfinder to take photos directly in black and white. Here, you can tweak the contrast, brightness, and other aspects of your photo before even taking it. The app has a good number of filters and film effects that you can imbue your photos with, and you can buy more from the built-in store if you want. The one thing that makes Hypocam stand out, at least for me, is the community portal that gives you a chance to view others’ photos and share your own.
Hypocam’s minimalist interface makes it easy to take great monochrome shots
Try Some Pro-Level Editing
Phone photography really has come a long way in recent years, and the apps that allow you to edit your images have really kept up. Google’s Snapseed (iOS and Android) is an example of this. It is by far one of the most preferred photo editing applications out there, and it is free which makes it even better.
Snapseed gives you complete control over your photos. The interface is not very simple, but easy enough to get used to when you consider the amount of features you get with the app. If you are serious about upping your Insta-game, drop everything and get Snapseed on your phone.
Another famous app for some serious photo editing is VSCO (iOS and Android). It comes with a variety of filters that you can tweak to your liking, and a diverse community like that of Hypocam’s where you can engage with others.
Left: Snapseed’s plethora of features, with a Filters panel underneath
Right: The clean interface while processing a photo relies on a swipe-based operation
Supercharge your Videos
If you like sharing video clips on Instagram, you should try giving them a makeover as well. Two apps that do this better than any other are Hyperlapse (iOS) and Microsoft’s Hyperlapse Mobile (Android). The former of the two is restricted to iOS but is arguably the more advanced one. Perhaps the best part of the app is its ability to use an iPhone’s gyroscope to provide image stabilization for your videos.
Microsoft’s app, on the other hand, boasts a very simple design with just one screen and three buttons when you launch into the Record mode. I love how quick and snappy the app is to use, giving you the option to create hyperlapse videos as fast as 32x the normal speed.
With these two apps, it’s unbelievably easy to create very interesting videos that seem like they were taken with much expensive gear.
Microsoft’s Hyperlapse Mobile has a very clean interface
Have Some Creative Fun
One way to garner more interest in your Instagram posts is to share some fun photos or GIFs. Giphy Cam (iOS and Android) is a fun little app you can use to turn your photos and videos into GIFs that are instantly shareable to Instagram. The app gives you editing options as well, but you can always use Instagram’s own editing controls when uploading the GIF as a video.
Another interesting app for creating fun posts is Glitch! (Android). I haven’t tinkered with the app myself very much, but I can tell it can be quite exciting in the right hands. The app has various effects that essentially destroy a photo and turn it into a technically visual mess, but that’s not a bad thing here. The more you tap your image, the more glitches take place. Glitch! also allows you to create GIFS that can be shared to Instagram.
Glitch! offers many ways to give your photos a more digital look
Stitch ‘Em Up!
A new update to Instagram has brought the ability to share multiple scrollable photos in the same post. This is great to share a story or a series of photos you took at the same time. But this in no way undermines the visual excellence that a carefully crafted collage can bring.
Instagram’s own Layout (iOS and Android) is the perfect app for creating quick and easy collages. Simply select the images you want, choose a layout for the selected number of photos, and play around with the final look of your collage by flipping, mirroring, or resizing images to your liking.
Instagram’s Layout app has a variety of controls to create the perfect collage
Create Short Loops
Sometimes, it’s enough to create just a small looping video of something to catch some attention on Instagram. Ever since the company released their Boomerang app (iOS and Android), people have been going crazy with the idea.
Alternatively, you could try Phhhoto (iOS and Android) to give a unique look to your looped videos. The application gives a rather jittery look to your clips, making them look more like stop motion videos.
Whether you want people to take your photographic side more seriously or just want to get some more active followers, it’s important to know what kind of apps you need for your particular needs. This list is by no means comprehensive enough to cover all the different kinds of photo manipulation apps out there, but it sure is a great starting point for you to up your Insta-game without a lot of work.