Hands up if you love Instagram… join the club! We love sharing behind the scenes snaps from scrunch HQ, our insider tips and favourite brands and bloggers with our community every week, but we couldn’t do it without a helping hand from some awesome Instagram tools and apps. Here are our top 8 that you should definitely be using!
SnapWidget allows you to embed an Instagram feed onto a blog or website and display it as a photomap, gallery or slideshow. You can embed an Instagram account (e.g. @scrunchdotcom), or a gallery pulled from a popular hashtag, such as #fashionblogger or #MelbourneCup2015, for example. Once the code is placed on the website or blog, SnapWidget will automatically update it every 30 minutes by pulling the latest images from the handle or hashtag. SnapWidget is free, however you can upgrade to SnapWidget Pro for $6.99/month for additional features.
Up until recently, it was very difficult to pre-schedule Instagram posts and have them published at a designated time. That was until Hootsuite added Instagram scheduling features to its service offering and made Instagram management a whole lot easier. In Hootsuite you can preschedule content (images and caption) in advance and publish it in just a few taps when the time comes for it to go live. You can also monitor your own Instagram posts, your scheduled content, specific hashtags, locations and more.
For Instagram analytics and engagement data, look no further than Iconosquare. Once connected to your Instagram account, Iconosquare can pull data on your account’s followers, prime times for posting, high engagement times, most commonly used hashtags and filters, most popular media and on your account’s followers. There’s a wealth of information available at your fingertips on Iconosquare, and it can help you grow your Instagram account and engagement. You’d be crazy not to have a peek.
Instagram recently launched a new app, called Layout, to help users create engaging, unique content for the social networking site. Layout allows you to combine multiple photos to create a single image that captures a whole story. You can combine photos into a single layout to create a collage, or rotate and flip the same image to give it a mirror or kaleidoscope effect. The image series below demonstrates 4 of the effects you can create with Layout.
Snapseed is a close runner-up to VSCO for photo editing because it is a little tricky to master and can be very fiddly. However, Snapseed does have additional features that make professional photo editing on the go possible. Snapseed allows you to really tweak your images as if you were working in Photoshop, with everything from brightness, contrast, exposure, saturation, highlighting and sharpening to dodge, burn and whitening features.
If video is the way of the future, then adding them to your Instagram feed is a great way to start! Hyperlapse allows you to create stabilized time-lapse videos without bulky tripods and expensive equipment. You can shoot a sunset from one advantage point, or an experience in motion (walking, riding, driving) and Hyperlapse will instantly stabilize it to smooth out the bumps so your time lapse video is slick and clear.
Finally, Repost is a great tool to have if user generated content is part of your Instagram content strategy. Repost allows users to regram another users image with full credentials, so it’s a great tool for brands to have when they want to regram an image that someone has posted of their product or service. In addition to using Repost, it’s also a good idea to tag the original user if you are reposting their content too.
VSCO would have to be one of our favourites, and probably most used, Instagram apps for photo editing. It’s super simple to use, and it has a host of free features and filters available to enhance your images and create an aesthetically on point feed. The image series below shows the stages of editing a flatlay image, from importing the photo to VSCO and choosing a filter, to adjusting the exposure, contrast and clarity. As well as photo editing, you can now also make GIFs through VSCO’s sister app, DSCO.
Images kindly supplied by Nora Chan from nrahmichelle.