OVER the years, Instagram has proven to be the social media app to beat. More than an online chronicle of one’s daily activities and interests, it’s also an effective tool for business and marketing.
When it first came out, the mechanics were simple: Post, like, comment, follow. Several updates later, it has gotten a bunch of cool new features to offer its users a more optimal experience. With so many old and new capabilities to tinker with (when is Reels coming to PH users, anyway?), it’s easy to forget some of the other amazing things this platform can do.
Here are five underused features on the ‘gram:
No need to use a third-party app for collages in your Stories anymore. With Layout, you can make a collage by taking photos straight from Instagram’s camera or selecting existing photos from your own gallery. However, there aren’t a lot of options to choose from (there are only six layouts, as of writing) and the Story dimensions can be tricky to work with. But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make collages for your stories, Layout does a pretty decent job.
Pin a comment
Here’s a new one: Similar to how you can pin a post on a Facebook page, Instagram users can now pin up to three comments per post. If you have a lot of followers and get a lot of engagement, this is useful in highlighting the comments you want your followers to see. It can be an all-caps compliment from a bestie or a sweet response from the brand you tagged in the photo. Two things to keep in mind though: You can’t pin your own comment and the users whose comments you pinned will be notified.
It’s an old feature of the app that’s often overlooked and underused. Tilt-shift is basically a blur tool if you want to give your photos depth of field and have a central focus, emulating the effect of iPhone’s Portrait mode but done manually instead. It comes in two modes, linear or radial, which might not yield the most perfect and precise results but when used right, it’s quite impressive.
“Support Small Business” sticker
In solidarity with small businesses struggling during the pandemic, Instagram created a sticker that users can have in their Stories and share their favorite small businesses with their followers. What’s cool about this sticker is that it shows a preview of the account’s three latest posts and if you tap on it, it’ll show the account’s bio. Simply search for “Support Small Business” under Stickers. Take note: The special sticker only works on profiles that are registered as business accounts.
If a post is too good that double tapping it is not enough and you have to keep it for future reference, just tap the bookmark icon located on the bottom right side of the post. You can access all your bookmarked posts under “Saved”—there, you’ll see a mood board-like situation. Like Pinterest, you can bookmark a post and file them under specific groups called Collections and label them accordingly like, let’s say, “OOTD inspo” or “Memes to send to friends.”