I am constantly inspired by Instagram. The amount of curated content produced by incredible creatives on there daily keeps me wanting to achieve and better myself. I used to have an unhealthy relationship with the app, getting sucked into a whirlpool of resentment and comparatives every time I opened it. Until I made use of that handy mute feature to make sure I was only engaging with the accounts that actually lift me up. I’ve been using the app for years now, and over time my pattern of use with the app has changed drastically. Now, I’m using a selection of apps that are useful, and that keep me out of the back-end of the app so I can spend more time on the content creation instead. Today I wanted to share the best apps for Instagram, and what I’ll definitely be using for the foreseeable future.
These are the apps that have informed and changed my strategy. What I use on a day to day basis, and how all of my content is edited, curated and scheduled for my feed.
The Best Apps for Editing
When it comes to the best apps for Instagram in terms of editing, I can’t deny the power of Lightroom. I taught myself how to use Lightroom when I started Mile in My Glasses, only being familiar with the basics of Photoshop, VSCO, Afterlight and the such before that. Lightroom is incredible for editing photos in (especially RAWs, which I cover about editing in this post right here).
You could use either Lightroom desktop (which requires a membership of £10 per month, which is what I use), or Lightroom Mobile which is free. I’d recommend using Lightroom Mobile to begin with, at least till you’re comfortable with the interface and the tools as it has a lot of synergy between the mobile and desktop applications.
When it comes to Instagram, you’ll end up curating your own editing style which will influence how you shoot your photos, so I’d recommend playing around with as many editing applications as you can so you can find what style you’re aiming for. I covered two photography tips for shooting content for Instagram here, also.
After editing in Lightroom, I do sometimes transfer the images into VSCO, too. The VSCO filters can be fantastic, and if you apply them conservatively they go a long way to helping you maintain an aesthetic between your images. That’s what I’ve found, anyway. I also love the VSCO desktop presets as a jumping off point sometimes, though it seems they’ve discontinued those so unless you already had them, they’re unavailable to access.
The Best Apps for Curating
Curating your images is key. What I mean by curating is using a programme to arrange, caption and schedule your feed how you want it to look. This may sound high maintenance, which I totally understand, but I’ve always found it easier to plan my feed than just throw photos up willy nilly. In fact, before I used a curating application I was one of those people who used VSCO to plan their feed. Which was tedious within itself because you couldn’t swap or change tiles without deleting and reimporting them. But that’s a whole different story.
The app I have always gone back to for curating my feed is Planoly. My favourite thing about Planoly, especially as an app for Instagram, is that it has both a mobile and web client. So you can caption, re-arrange and schedule your images on the web (for no additional cost). It has a tiered membership plan, but I’ve always used Planoly free, which gives you 30 uploads per month. I find it easier to type my captions out on desktop like a blog post rather than on my phone. I’m not sure why, it’s just a force of habit. I just find it a better experience. I also love that you can drag and drop images to rearrange tiles, and there’s a calendar function so you can see how often you’re posting visually.
Planoly also keeps track of your statistics, comments and other post analytics that you may find helpful, especially if you’re not a business account on Instagram.
The Best Apps for Hashtags
Hashtags are quite the hidden art on Instagram. Besides starting my own to categorise my content (mileinmystyle, mileinmytravels, mileinmyhometown and streamsidetownhouse), I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with finding the hashtags that actually work for me and my content. In fact, I’ve been known to use the same set of hashtags for months on end regardless of what content I post.
Since trying to branch away from that idea, I thought it was a good idea to start making sets of hashtags that I could use based on the content I was posting. Which is where I came across Jetpack Hashtag Assistant. When it comes to the best apps for Instagram, Jetpack is a great choice for the hashtag curators amongst you.
Essentially, Jetpack allows you to create as many categories of hashtags as you want, which tells you the number of hashtags per category and you can label them as so. It means if you have an account that belongs to multiple niches (like me), you can have correlating categories of hashtags for them. I find that Jetpack comes into its own for organisation, and that solely. The app itself isn’t free, but I don’t think it costs more than £2, so depending on how often you’ll use it, it could definitely be worth it.
That said though, it has no resource for storing the 5 lines of periods that many (including myself) post before their hashtags to ‘clean up’ their comment section. So irregardless of how you use it, you’ll have to post the copied hashtags into the Notes app below the periods, and then re-copy and paste it into Instagram for use. Like I said, this might not be everybodies cup of tea, so that’s something to consider before purchasing.
When it comes to Instagram, there are so many apps available and everybody has their own way of interacting with the network. Definitively, I don’t think there are any ‘solid’ best apps for Instagram, but there are fantastic ones and these are the best ones for me. I’ve been posting under Mile in My Glasses for almost two and a half years now, and although my strategies are changing, how I edit and upload my Instagram posts wont be.
If you’re interested in more posts that I’ve written about blogging or photography, click those tags. I’ve written posts like The Habits That are Ruining Your Photography, What You Need to Know Before Launching Social Media for Your Blog and The Best Content Creators That Inform My Blogging Strategy.
What are the apps you love to use for Instagram?
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