Instagram has grown tremendously since it first came out, and there is a lot that we still do not know about the photo, and at times video, sharing app.
Such as how to ,turn off read receiptsto adding filters in stories. However, in this article, we will cover what the small ribbon icon/ flag-looking icon below all the posts means.
The Instagram Ribbon Icon
Let’s jump right into it. The ribbon icon that you find at the bottom of every Instagram post, or the flag-looking icon, is the bookmark/ save. This means that when you press it the post is saved to a collection, which can be known as albums, similar to that of Pinterest.
This is done when a post that you really connect with, or one that you like a lot. It is so that you can revisit the post in your personal collection whenever you want. Back in the day, users had to screenshot their favorite posts or download a third-party app so that they can save their favorite posts from other users. But, Instagram took note of it and ,around 2016they added the bookmark feature aka the little ribbon/ flag.
A Friendly Warning
When you bookmark a post, the user is notified that it is bookmarked. This can be a good thing for SEO reasoning, as well as those that give advice through their posts. They will know which ones work the most, and essentially what their audience or followers are looking for.
However, the issue comes in if you bookmark an ex’s posts or bookmark a post with someone you are not on good terms with. This can be by accident but if they notice it will make you look bad. Possibly causing issues in your current romantic relationship if you like an ex’s post even by mistake. Certainly, if the current lovers find out through the ex. This is one of the ways that users can tell if their ,Instagram account is being stalked. That, and liking their posts.
How Can You See Your Bookmarked Posts
To get access to your bookmarked posts you can do so by logging into your Instagram profile. Then you would press your profile picture in the bottom right corner, and it will slide into your profile. From here you press the menu icon which is located at the top right corner of your screen.
It looks like three horizontal lines. A pop-up will slide up and you look for “Saved” which is next to the ribbon/flag-looking icon. You press it and it will take you to your albums. The first album will be “All Posts” which obviously shows all the posts that you have bookmarked.
How To Make Separate Albums/ Collections
If you want to sort your posts into different, themed albums, you can do so by going into your “All posts” album. When inside you press the three horizontal dots in the top right corner. This will bring up an option to “select” you can then pick the ones that you want to put into one collection. Then you can title this collection. This is useful if you like many different types of posts such as art posts, comics, advice, film making, interior design, fashion, etc.
It will sort out your catalog of posts making them easier to find. And when you want to add a new bookmarked post to a certain collection you can by tapping on the ribbon icon under that post. It will first save to your “All Posts” album. It lets you know it did so by sliding up “Saved”. If you look in the right of that word you will see the option of “Save to Collection” pressing this will let you see the albums you have made. It is here that you choose the one that you want that post to go into.
To Remove a Saved/ Bookmarked Post
If you want to neaten up your albums and ,delete certain poststhat you have bookmarked in the past, it is easy to do. All you have to do is go to your “Saved” tab and look for the post you want to remove. Once you find it you just press on the ribbon icon.
If you are removing it from a certain album then Instagram will ask you if you want to remove this post only from this collection or from your “All Posts/ Saved” collection as well. However, if you remove the post from your “All Posts” collection then you will remove it from your other collections as well.
Can Other People See What You Saved?
When you come across a post that you have bookmarked then the flag/ribbon icon is filled in. However, only you can see this on your account. Therefore, other users on their accounts cannot see who bookmarked what post.
The only way they know what you liked is by looking over your shoulder or by having access to and logging into your account.
However, as mentioned earlier the user whose post you bookmarked gets a notification that their post has been bookmarked. Hence, the whole saving your ex’s posts situation.
The ribbon/ flag icon is the best way to create your own albums or collections of the posts that you want to go back to. These can be your favorite photos of pets, landscapes, fashion, interior design, etc.
Plus, creating different collections can help separate the posts so that they are easier to find. You can have a collection for artworks, and another for advice.
This will just make it easier to find what you need. It is a simple feature with adding a more personal touch to the Instagram app where your favorite posts will not be lost to time or the algorithm. We hoped this article made things clearer about the use of the ribbon icon. If you want to know how to delete a photo from your carousel post, then ,check out this article.
Snapchat is a social media app that allows you to connect and share posts with a ton of other users. It is easy to use, and easier to be connected. However, what happens if there is a ,message pending? Or what happens when you unblock someone on Snapchat?
How To Unblock A User
Unblocking a user is easy to do, and it takes no time at all. You could want to unblock someone due to a misunderstanding, a mistake, or time to cool down. However, if they are harassing you then it is best to report them and keep them blocked.
,To unblock someone you would have to log into your Snapchat account. Then you tap your profile picture which is the Bitmoji face in the top left corner of the screen. If you do not have a Bitmoji face profile picture then the image will look like a silhouette of a head and shoulders.
Tap on the cogwheel icon which is to open up the “Settings” menu. It is located in the top right corner of the app. When you are in the menu you scroll down until you find the “Account Actions” section which is usually at the bottom of the list.
In this section, you will look for the “Blocked” tab. Pressing it will bring up the list of people that you have blocked. You search for the username that you want to unblock. Next to their name, there is an “X” which you tap. A prompt will pop up asking for confirmation, and you confirm if you are sure about your decision. This will make them unblocked, therefore, they can interact and view your snaps.
When the user is unblocked you may have to add them back to your friend’s list, depending on their privacy settings. Before doing so, double-check if their name appears on your list. If not, you can search for their username and add them back to your list. This can take up to 24 hours for their name to appear on your list.
How To Block Someone
Blocking people on any social media app is usually a last resort due to safety reasons or plain annoyance of the users. Plus, blocking users on Snapchat is very easy to do. Doing so will make your Snapchat account vanish from the blocked user. This means that they cannot see your snaps, send you DMs, or even view past DMs. Blocking can be done with Android or Apple products. The ,first step in the blocking process is to log in to your Snapchat account.
Once you are logged in, you swipe to the right to open up your “Friends” screen. Then look for the username that is giving you issues. When you find the name, you can hold on to it for a menu to appear. The last few steps are that you select the “More” tab, and then tap the “Block” option. And this will block your “friend” from interacting with and seeing your posts. However, if they are not on your friends’ list then you can search for them.
All you would have to do is to tap on the magnifying glass next to “Friends” that is located at the top of the screen. Type in the username you want to block. After you find them, you hold on to their username, and then select “More”. Finally, you press “Block” and then they are blocked.
As we briefly mentioned, there are several reasons that blockage could occur. One is that they are harassing you, or just getting on your nerves. If it is the former, you should report them. If it is the latter, just block them so you have peace of mind. Blocking someone on Snapchat stops them from interacting with you from watching your snaps and stories or Group Charms. Furthermore, the blocked user cannot send you DMs, snaps, or any type of interaction.
Blocking users on Snapchat make you invisible to them. However, removing friends means that they can still see your public posts. If you want people not to see your posts, you must block them and not just unfriend them. And, they would not know if they were blocked by you unless they do research and follow up on it. Likewise, how you would have to research to see if you were ,removed from someone’s Snapchat friends list.
As we have pointed out, Snapchat users may want to unblock people due to misunderstandings that have happened. It could also be that time went by giving both parties a chance to cool down. Maybe the other user apologized?
Therefore, they wanted to interact with the block users again once the waters are calm. There could be countless reasons that people block people, likewise, that people unblock people. As long as the users are not a threat, they can be unblocked.
To Sum Up
To unblock a user so that they can interact with you again, as well as view your snaps is an easy process. Just go to your settings, look for “Blocked” and find their username. Then press the “X” next to it, and you are done. You may have to re-add them to your friends’ list. The thing about Snapchat is that it can be easy to use once you get used to it.
The point of social media is to share posts with the world, but not people you do not want to know. Therefore, be careful when using social media apps, this is a rule of the internet/ online interaction. We hope this article made the steps clearer. There is a lot you can do with Snapchat such as ,changing to the dark mode or add new filters. Either way, it is a fun app with great users.
But, you may come across a few that are dodgy making you feel annoyed or unsafe. The latter must be reported with the former you can block. Happy snapping!
Something that you will notice when you visit the profiles of the ,best Instagram fitness models, or influencers is their outstanding highlight covers for their Instagram stories. And we will give you tips on how to make Instagram highlight covers look amazing.
What Are Instagram Highlight Covers
An Instagram story highlight cover is the first thing people see when they look at your collection of highlights of your stories. They are found right under your bio on your Instagram profile where you can have a collection of your stories and put them into different groups according to themes. Many influencers have them with titles such as “workout”, “travel”, “food” etc. as a way for their users to easily find their past stories for ideas or inspirations. Or it can just be a way to hold on to the stories for a lot longer.
Why Use Them
Social media is all about branding if you are using it for SEO and marketing purposes. Bloggers, marketers, and influencers know that first impressions are everything. That is where a good-looking, as well as the polished cover image for your Insta story highlights, come in. When one sees your highlights collection they should know what it is all about just by looking at it. Plus, it adds more professionalism to your Instagram account by having covers that look as if they are made by graphic design artists.
And, it can also tie your profile together in terms of theme. You can also ,draw attention to your best posts by putting them in groups with outstanding highlight icons. Much like ,bookmarking posts that you like except it is public and it is only the posts that were on your stories. This also includes posts that you shared from other users. Luckily, you can do it yourself regardless if you are on an Android or iPhone. And we will tell you everything you need to know to make great custom Instagram highlight covers. Without breaking the bank.
This can also be a great way to get your own graphic design practice, experience. Or, even just learn a new skill.
How To Make New Highlights on Instagram
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make Highlights if you have not done it before. First, you would have to log into your Instagram account and go to your profile. You can do this by tapping your profile picture in the bottom right corner of your screen. Then you are on your account and under your bio you will see a big plus sign in a circle. This is under the “Story Highlights” section. Where, as you guessed it, all your highlights will go. You press the circled plus sign. This will take you to all your Instagram posts that you made into stories, as well as just plain stories that were never on your feed.
Starting from your most recent Instagram story at the bottom of the screen, all the way up to the first one that you posted. It is here that you pick all the posts that you want to put into one group. Press “Next” in the top right corner, and you will be taken to a screen where you can name your collection. As well as “Edit Cover” aka change the cover photo of the highlight collection. If you have an image that suits your highlight group already in the group, then you can pick it. You can do this by pressing “Edit Cover” and then scrolling through your posts to find that image. All you have to do is then resize it to fit the circle, and you are good to go.
How To Edit Covers
While the Instagram app lets you choose your own cover, it is always better to make them yourself. This is because it can be more professional to your brand, by using your brand colors. As well as adding to the theme of your profile, as we have mentioned before. One of the most used apps when it comes to doing easy graphic design is the Canva app. Canva offers premade cover designs that you can tune to suit your brand’s style. Plus, it is free and easy to use.
You can create a free account on ,canva.com. This will take you to its homepage where you click on “Create a design” and then choose “+Custom dimensions” at the bottom. The dimension of your cover icons must be at a 9:16 ratio, aka 1080 pixels width by 1920 pixels height to be on the safe side. It is here that you can choose from their templates that you can change and edit to suit your own flow. You can also choose from their large collection of elements that you can resize. We would suggest that you start with the “Instagram Story Highlight Cover” since this is easier to work with and can be more accurate to the size you need for your cover.
And it is easy to change the background- color for your cover. You just press on it and go to the top left corner where there is a block of color. Press on it and you can change the color to the one you want/ need. Furthermore, if you want to change the text, double-click on the text, and type something else. Plus, you can change the font and color as well. However, to change the text color you would have to click on the “A” with a color line under it. When you are done with the design and are happy with it, you press “Download” in the top right corner and it will be saved as a PNG on your computer.
Upload Your Design
One of the best features of using Canvas is that you can upload your own image or design. As long as it is in a PNG format. You do this simply by clicking on “Upload Media” and choosing where your image is. The options are Instagram, Dropbox, Facebook, and Google Drive. However, your accounts have to be connected to the Canvas site. You can also opt for the option to upload from your PC/ Mac or to drag and drop the image you want to use. Designing your own image can be a bit of work but it can be done. Furthermore, there are many types of photo editing programs out there that you can use to create your branded image icon covers.
There are plenty of tutorials online to show how it is done, even ,Photoshop would be a great option to use. However, make sure that you save your final image as a PNG, and that you use the dimensions 1080 pixels width by 1920 pixels height. There are also a variety of free icons you can use as your new covers. But, we would suggest making your own or using your own photos for the covers. You want to stand out while being true to your image. Once you have uploaded your design to Canvas you can then resize it, move it around, add text, etc. Then when you are happy with it you can download it to your PC.
Likewise, you can use Photoshop or any other photo/image editing software to make your own outside of Canvas. If you are working on your phone to make the cover images then you can save them to your gallery. However, if you are working on a computer, which we would suggest you do for Canvas and Photoshop since it is a touch easier, then you can send the image to your email. Or save it to your phone. Either way, make sure it is in your gallery on your phone.
How To Add Them
When you have the cover you want, emojis included if need be, you can add it to your highlights. To add a new Instagram highlight you would have to make the group first by picking the posts that will go in it. This is done through the Insta app. Then you press “Edit Cover” and instead of scrolling through your posts in the group, you press on the icon that looks like a vector of a landscape. This will take you to your photo gallery on your phone where you can pick the image you want to use. Press “Done” and it is ready.
To add a cover to an existing highlight, then you hold on to the highlight and a pop-up menu will rise. Choose “Edit Highlight” and it is here that you can change the name of your highlight group. As well as the cover picture. Press “Edit Cover” and then pick the landscape vector-looking icon. For both new and existing highlight covers, you can then choose where you put your design, between your gallery or camera roll, and press on it. You can play around with the sizing to make it fit better or to add more style like a border. However, it does not seem that you can add a filter to the cover image. Therefore, keep that in mind when choosing or creating your cover. When you are happy with the placement, press the “Done” word in the top right corner.
There you go, your cover image for your highlight has been updated. Just to let you know that you do not have to add your cover to your stories to make it a part of the highlight group. It can be separate.If you want to delete the group then you hold on to the group till the pop-up menu pops up. Then you choose the “Delete Highlight” tab and it is gone. However, your old posts that were in that group that you erased are still in your old posts. You can still find them there. However, you will not find your cover.
Advice For Making Instagram Highlight Covers
Here are a ,few tips to help make your covers stand out so that your followers and potential new ones can see what your brand is all about. The first is to make the covers suit your brand in terms of style and voice. This is something that we have mentioned throughout and it is very important. It is the whole reason that you are making or picking covers in the first place. Also, stick to a look, as well as be clear and precise with the image. For example, if you are making the cover and your highlight group is food, then make the design food-related, not a picture of a dog. This will mix up the messaging.
Therefore, make or choose the images that will get the message of the group across straight away. You can also make sure that each highlight group cover has a different color background to make them different from each other. Organize your highlight groups. This is so that you do not have too many at the top of your profile. Picking the relative groups, and more tailored to your brand can make the whole thing feel a lot less overwhelming. You would not want your followers to have too many posts that they get lost or bored with.
Another piece of advice would be to keep the design or image of the cover simple. You do not want too much going on since it can feel crowded. If it takes you a while to figure out what the image is, then it is not a very good cover. In this case, less is more. Make it simple so it gets across the point of the highlight group at first, short, glance.
Adding an Instagram highlight cover is very easy to do. Just press the landscape vector icon and choose your image. Likewise, you can choose from the posts that are already in your highlight group. However, if you want to make your own cover, you can use and play around with Canvas as well as other types of sites such as ,shutterstock.com. But, make sure they are safe. As well as free. If you want to be more into the design of the covers then you should go for programs that let you create images from scratch. There are a lot of tutorials to show how it is done.
This can help make your covers more unique, personal as well as suit your branding a lot more. But, make sure that you stick to the dimensions of 1080 pixels width by 1920 pixels height. Plus, save it in PNG. Keep to the style of your brand, and have fun creating the covers. That is the best part, as well as learning a new skill.
Make sure that the covers are related to the highlight groups as well as stick to the voice of your brand.
Also, do not overdo it with the highlight groups. Create ones that are focused and related to your brand so as not to overwhelm your followers. Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the world of Instagram highlight covers. If you want to read more then check out how you can ,clear your Instagram search history to feel fresh.
Instagram has a ton of features with, hopefully, more coming. However, the one feature that stands out the most is Instagram Stories. And, have you ever wondered ,how to check who shared your stories? Or how Instagram story viewer order works? Well, we will focus on the latter and you can read up on the former.
Briefly About Instagram Stories
The point of Instagram Stories is that users get to share moments as soon as they happen. It is also a way for marketers to advertise their posts, and products to their followers directly. The story lasts for 24 hours but users can save them into collections with their own profile pictures to add to their Instagram accounts branding. However, users do not know if their ,stories have been screenshot by their followers or other users.
The feature came into existence in August 2016. And by 2017 the feature overtook Snapchat due to its growing audience size. This would make sense since Snapchat and stories have similar functions. But, the early difference between the two apps is that stories have a ,heavy reliance on algorithmic ranking, seemingly more than that of Snapchat.
How Stories Order is Made
On your Instagram app for both Android and ISO, you can see the stories from your followers at the very top of your homepage. The order of the stories is made similar to the order of the posts that you view. The thing with Instagram is that it uses an algorithm that is based on machine learning. This means that the app notices which profile or types of profile you interact with the most when compared to others. The algorithm takes into account the profiles whose posts you like, comment on the most. As well as which users you DM and most.
This applies to the stories as well. As in the users whose stories you always check out will appear first on your list at the top of your Instagram app. However, there is a noticeable difference between the algorithm of your feed versus the algorithm of stories. Stories do not only look for interaction, but they focus ,more on the “signal”.This means that the stories algorithm takes note of your pattern of behavior. When it has figured out how you use the app it then makes the algorithm and order of stories according to how you use Instagram. This type of algorithm tracks your Instagram behavior by looking at:
As we have mentioned Instagram looks at your interactions with other users’ profiles be it in terms of likes, comments, DMs, and even bookmarking. Instagram will move the profiles that you interact with the most to the beginning of your story order list. The logic behind this is that if you interact with certain profiles more than others, you are most likely to watch those profiles’ stories more than your other followers. This can also apply to the explore page.
Another thing that is taken into account by the algorithm is your interests. This is when you search for something in the search bar at the top of the explore page. Be it a hashtag or a certain profile. If you do this often enough with the same user names or hashtags, then Instagram will notice, and then prioritize these users’ stories before others on the explore page.
Experience, according to Instagram, is when they pick up on your habits when viewing stories. As in if you log into your account and you look for a story from a particular user to watch it first, Insta will take note. Thereby, Instagram will make this user’s story first on your list after a while so that you do not have to look for them on your list.
Even if the story is old, it does not matter. Instagram views this user’s stories as important to you and will put it at the top until you watch it or until it 24 hours runs out. This way of thinking, on Instagram’s side, also relates to…
Instagram usually orders the stories from the oldest to the newest according to when they were posted. However, if they notice that you interact with or watch a story before the rest, out of order, then the app will take this “experience” and make that story come first. Regardless of when it was posted. They want you to watch the content you are interested in above the ones that you just skip by.
The above points can also apply to how Instagram orders the users that view your stories. When you go to your story you will notice that the same followers are at the top of the list in the left, bottom corner of your screen. This is because these are the users that frequent your stories due to timing, interests, support, etc. Much like who you interact with other profiles that you are more interested in. Therefore, your profile picture can appear on top of their viewers’ list on their stories too.
The Instagram algorithm when it comes to stories looks at interaction, interests, experience, and timeliness to make stories that you want to watch first be on top of your list. The algorithm seems to be user-tailored meaning that every user can have a different algorithm tailored to them. This is done so that users can spend more time on the app, without wasting it. If a user has to always look for the stories they want to view first they can lose interest and log off. Instagram does not want this.
Hence, they use machine learning to see what you are watching first. And keep wanting to come back to check out certain user’s stories without the hassle. We hope this article has shed more light on the inner works of Instagram stories. As well as answer your questions. If you would like to read more about the Instagram world while also learning to grow your followers, check out ,10 Instagram posts and story ideas for max engagement.
Well, believe it or not, once upon a time many people had not. Long gone are the days when the platform was exclusively for photography buffs. Today Instagram is a social media titan under the ownership of Mark Zuckerberg and co. It is a place where influencers share their stories and products, goods, services, and brands all compete for our attention. Across this page, you will be shown all there is to know about Instagram video specifications, advertising, and how to make your profile bigger and better. In short, all of the best hacks. You read it here first.
Instagram is in a competitive field. Rivals such as TikTok are on the rise. But Instagram still continues to flourish and succeed. Nothing is stopping it. Indeed, in 2018, the social media platform grew by about 5% per quarter. This far outpaced Snapchat and Facebook who registered anemic growth of 2 and 3 percent respectively.
And here is something to whet the appetite of business. Around 80% of Instagram users follow a business profile on the platform. Meanwhile, 60% of users discover new products through the platform. That’s a lot of revenue.
You do the math. Oh, and did I mention that Instagram is supported on android and ios.
How Long Can Instagram Videos Be?
Moving on to the matter at hand, how long can Instagram videos be? Well, the answer to this question depends on the type of video content you create.
As you probably already know, there are four types of video content.
Instagram Live video broadcasts. Like Facebook Live, these are restricted to 60 minutes. Not a second more.
Instagram feed video lengths range from 3-second minimum video length to a maximum of 1 minute. Fear not – there is still plenty you can do within this time.
Yes, you guessed it. Instagram stories. These bad boys are limited to 15 seconds or a quarter of a minute (depending on how you look at it). However, creative users can blend multiple clips which can be shared as combined stories. The sky’s the limit!
IGTV clips are limited to 60 minutes. They range from 15 seconds to 10 minutes for regular Instagram account holders/verified accounts. IGTV video files have a max video size of 5.4 GB and a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5. But note: they must be uploaded from a PC or a Mac in MP4 format. Upload videos with care.
Instagram Video Specs
Before we go on to inspect the four main types of video content in detail, let’s quickly have a look at Instagram video’s specifications.
First off, MP4 is the best format. It simply cannot be beaten.
Other than this the best specs are:
Maximum 180 pixels wide
Maximum 920 pixels tall
Frame rate of 30 frames per second (FPS)
Maximum of 60 seconds
H.264 codec (I don’t know what this means either)
3500 KBPS bitrate
Quick note: As a general rule of thumb, IG video length is rarely more than 60 minutes.
Instagram Live Video Length
Registered users on Instagram can post Live Videos directly to their accounts. Instagram Live Videos display real-time video content up to 60 minutes long. This is the Instagram video limit.
These Instagram Live videos display real-time video content up to an hour in length. Once the Live Video feed has expired (gone over its time limit), your followers on the platform can replay the video for up to 24 hours after the recording. That is, if it is worth watching …
After fixing your makeup and arranging the scenery, you can share a live video with your followers at the swipe of a finger. Simply open up your Insta app and go live baby. Indeed, Instagram Live came hot on the heels of Instagram Stories. These live broadcasts – be they parties, mountain escapes, or you simply chillin’ out on the beach – allow for lots of real-time interaction with followers, and you can easily attack new followers too. Ready to go live? Look at the stories bar on Instagram. Look for the word ‘live’ emblazoned in the avatar. To watch a live stream, click on the avatar and you are good to go.
There’s more. Tap your finger on ‘your story’ next to the + sign and click on the camera icon. There are a plethora of live video recording options. You may recognize them as normal, boomerang, rewind, hands-free and live.
Do not forget the live button and the start video live. Following a 3 second countdown – is that enough time? – your Instagram broadcast will begin. This will push a notification to all of your followers, with a live badge displayed over your profile picture. If you get tired? You can end the live video at any time by clicking, yes, you guessed, it: end.
Instagram Feed Videos, and How Long Can They Be?
No matter how glossy your Instagram profile, longer videos are limited. In fact, you are limited to lengths of 60 seconds MAX for your Instagram Feed videos. And in case you didn’t know, your feed is your Instagram profile. This is where all of your content is flaunted to your loving followers. It is possible to upload an Instagram video longer than one minute. Yet you must be aware that only one minute of that video will feature on your feed. I know this length requirement is annoying.
But the good news is that you can select which minute this is. Make it a good one. Alright, so let us unpack this a little further. Say, for instance, you are recording a 3 minute and 15 seconds clip of video. Once you have selected it, you can edit the clip and prepare it for upload. This includes getting crafty with your hashtags.
Warning: You have to select the time bands option to pick your preferred 60 seconds of video content.
Select the trim option and then drag your video left or right to get the best minute of video content to upload. As soon as you are satisfied, click done.
Instagram Carousel Posts Video Length
Remember those days at the seaside, ice cream in hand grinning from ear to ear? Well, re-live them with a carousel post. These natty little long-form items allow you to upload multiple connected videos to your Instagram Feed. That is, one video, then a second video, and so on and so forth. Indeed, they allow users to post up to ten videos in one swipeable carousel. To do so, simply save sections of your video as stand-alone clips which can be sequentially uploaded in the same carousel.
In case you are wondering, here is a quick guide on how to get started with one of these carousel videos.
Step one: Launch Instagram on your android or iOS device. (Sorry I had to say it)
Step two: Click on the ‘+’ icon and then tap ‘Select Multiple’
Gather or record 10 videos (or gifs, don’t forget gifs) you want to put into your IG post.
Think about adding some stickers or a filter to your post
Ditch this idea
Click next and browse through your short videos
Spend the next half an hour thinking of a caption for your Instagram carousel video post. Oh and tag your homies.
Publish it, baby.
The Big Daddy: Instagram Stories
For the first-timers out there, Instagram stories – or IG stories as they are known in French – are 15-second clips that are only available to watch for just 24 hours. I know this video length limit might seem, well, limiting, but stories offer twice as much length as photos from your camera roll. Although 15-second limits apply to individual stories, Instagram will cleverly (and automatically) splice your video clips into 15-second segments for your convenience.
If you are new to Instagram, you may be surprised to discover your expertly choreographed video cut into 15 15-second tiny pieces. (I know I certainly was). However, there are a whole lot of apps where you can take clipping into your own hands. These apps allow users to cut long videos into 15-second clips. They are Stereo for Instagram, CutStory for Instagram, and Story Slicer. Instagram Story options also exist within the Instagram app.
What are Instagram Story Dimensions?
It is a question that has kept mankind pondering for eons: what is an Instagram story video and what are its dimensions? The Instagram Story dimensions are 1080 x 1920, while their aspect ratio is 9 x 16. To optimize your content for every phone on the market (not everyone has an iPhone, guys), there is also a 250 pixels margin on the top and bottom of the screen that might be cropped out on some devices. What this means is that you should ensure no crucial part of your clip ends up in that 250-pixel safe zone either on the top or the bottom of the screen, lest it gets ignored and forgotten.
Links. Glorious Links
If you have been plugged into Instagram for some time now – who hasn’t – you have probably heard of the phrase link in bio. But this is not the only place you can have a clickable link. You can also put them in your stories through the infamous swipe-up feature. Unfortunately, this new feature is exclusively for those with more than 10,000 followers. Lucky buggers. Perhaps soon links will grace our Instagram reels.
Before we move onto IGTV, it is time to talk about templates. These are the hottest templates right now.
Make it easy for followers to convert. Include sale info or a discount code to encourage sales in a single click. That is if you are making video ads. Accounts with more than 10,000 followers get access to a simple swipe-up CTA.
Craft your stories for engagement. Ask your audience questions to engage, whether that is with a silly little sticker or a poll. People like to feel involved. Once you have a half sensible amount of replies, get sharing.
Be your own advocate. Advertise a new collection or product range in your stories to help nurture your brand. This one is important.
Fresh, exciting. Promote brand spanking new content. Build suspense for your best content, whet those appetites. Drive story watchers to your page to interact with your latest posts. Keep that Instagram reel fresh.
IGTV Video Lengths
IGTV is … think about it … Instagram plus Television. IGTV. Even your grandma can use – and love – this bangin’ feature on their account. It really is that easy. You can upload HD, vertical videos in long-form with your video channel. Needless to say, IG video length must adhere to certain rules and regulations (yawn). Most notably, it needs to be a minimum length of 15 seconds and it is best used on vertical video. This makes it ideal for Android and Apple devices. But why get busy on IGTV? IGTV is geared towards producing content that you can sink your eyes and brain into. If you have a verified account with heaps of followers, you will be able to enjoy up to 60 minutes of video length for IGTV.
Here are some important tips for IGTV
Check the stats. IGTV analytics will let you know whether anyone is even watching. In fact, you can tell how many comments, likes, and views your IG videos have received. That is if they have received any …
Share your IGTV video. This feature is pretty cool. It gives you a 60-second teaser trailer of your IGTV video. By allowing the IGTV preview (this is an optional setting), your IGTV video will be available on your profile, and that precious little Instagram feed of yours.
Perfect that aspect ratio. Vertical video is an art. Smartphones shoot at 9:16 aspect ratios. Luckily for us, this means we do not need complex software to perfect our clips.
Spotting a High Performing Profile
All of this is for nothing unless you can tell if you have a high-performing bio in your fingers. If you have a Business Profile on Instagram, you will have access to all important analytics. If you do not have a business profile, get one. While Instagram has straightforward and fairly simplistic analytics, this tool will still keep you in the loop about how many people are visiting your profile. Plus what they are doing on it.
Once you have this information, compare that link to your number of profile visits. If a large number of your visitors end up clicking on your links, then you are doing something right. If not, scroll up and read this article again. Take notes this time. But be advised. Even if you have oodles of clicks on your profile, but almost no clicks, you should consider tweaking your profile. More tweaking = more appealing = more cash money.
Here is my final word on the matter: always remember that social media is trial and error. If something is not performing well, fear not. Try and try again. You never know, you might just hit the jackpot.
Instagram users and influencers alike are now looking at Instagram engagement groups as a way of boosting engagement with their accounts. But why I hear you ask? Well, the answer is simple. As Instagram has become increasingly crowded – just look at your Instagram feed and you will see what I mean – it is now difficult for young bucks to make it. For many new entrants, organic reach has become, well, unreachable. This is where Instagram engagement groups have become popular. They are a powerful, not to mention easy, method for luring eyeballs to your account.
Note they are also called Instagram engagement pods, just in case you still have no idea what I am talking about. But I suppose you must have some questions on your mind. Most of all do Instagram engagement pods actually work? Are they capable of gaming the all-powerful Instagram algorithm? After all, they do seem too good to be true. Keep reading and all will be revealed.
What are Instagram Engagement Groups?
Keeping it simple, an Instagram engagement group is a collection of Instagram users who commit to interacting with each other’s Instagram posts to improve their overall engagement and reach. As a group of people, they will also direct messages to each other to help one another out, if they have any questions. Think of it as a type of Facebook group.
Instagram is rife with such groups. At present only a maximum of 32 people can be added to one Instagram direct messaging group. But 32 people can do a lot. Before making new posts each member will announce their post to the group, so they are primed and ready with their likes and comments. If the group is good, this can be done almost instantly.
There is more. Beyond Insta, groups with as many as one thousand pod members are known to exist. They frequently exist outside of Instagram on other social media platforms such as Whatsapp, telegram, Reddit, and Facebook. Besides, they often have a specific time for when members can contribute posts. Every pod is unique. However, they generally have their own rules and regs. That is, if they are a high-quality, well-functioning pod.
Keep the engagement group an engagement group. This means avoiding using the chatroom to have conversations about unrelated matters. DMs for Insta groups are for talking shop only. This is business ladies and gentlemen.
Now this one is important. Do not use the engagement pods for leeching. Leechers are people who use the IG pods but never give anything back. This is not only unfair but rude. Do. Not. Do. It.
Most importantly, honor the moment when a post is set to drop. This is the only way the groups work.
In certain cases, groups will have a specific number of followers to be allowed entry. These are generally the elite groups and fortunately do not account for most pods. So don’t worry about buying those followers just yet.
At the same time, certain pods will be oriented around specific types of posts or target audiences. This may be about photography, fashion, trading, bloggers – you name it, there is a pod for it. Explore pages to find out.
Types of Instagram Engagement Groups
Before we go onto how Instagram groups work, there are still a number of things to clear up. Like the real people they represent, Instagram groups are a varied bunch. Usually, the important thing surrounds what comments users give one another, although lots of other characteristics define them too.
Each social media site or messaging platform has guidelines specific to them. Given below are three of the most popular platforms where Instagram pods lurk.
These Telegram groups are the most popular. They are formed on Telegram’s group messaging feature and have a very high engagement rate. Most Telegram groups run on an automated schedule 24/7. What this means is that at every end of the schedule group members are instructed to comment and like on a collection of Instagram accounts. And they are smart too. Several Telegram groups use automated bots that oversee the group. They tell group members when to comment on other people’s posts by dropping a link to individuals’ usernames and desired posts.
After the bot has generated the list of posts to comment on in the group chat, it is group members’ individual duty to visit every Instagram account and interact with the allotted posts. If they fail to interact with the post on several occasions the bot will notice. This is to promote genuine engagements and stave off the dreaded leechers. Usually, group members have around 45 minutes to respond to a post in a given schedule. So be quick.
Instagram Direct Messaging Pods
As we said earlier, Instagram DMs are a great way of forming a pod. They operate very differently from engagement pods on other platforms. Firstly, as a result of Instagram’s 32 person limit, DM groups are smaller than those on other platforms. Although this limits their reach, on the other hand, fake engagement is more easily weeded out.
Unlike Telegram which has schedules, Instagram DM pods are continuous. This means that group members will send in posts all day long which they want Instagram likes on. These notifications can be a little overwhelming. But they will help you get top posts.
Of course, there is no missing this one. Facebook is packed full of engagement groups. Since its takeover by Facebook, it has turbo-charged Instagram growth. Differing from the other two platforms, Facebook-based pods are private and you need to be invited in. This can be difficult, depending on the group. Typically a member’s Instagram content will be vetted to make sure it is up to scratch. Similarly, they also do not schedule Instagram posts like they do on Telegram. They expect continuous engagement from group members. This, of course, is very time-consuming.
The second trait of Instagram engagement groups depends on their preferred reaction. This centers around whether they want only likes, only comments, or both (greedy). Again this can be found in the group’s guidelines. Make sure you check it.
This one is also important. Groups can either have a relatively specific or broad focus. In the latter, group members will be from a variety of areas. They will be united in their desire to help each other out and be helped in kind – quid pro quo style. Needless to say, these groups tend to have a higher rate of engagement than the former. However, many Instagram algorithms do not prize their engagement as it is perceived as fake. In the former, group members have a specific focus on one niche area. This can be whatever: age, gender, or profession. Check out their hashtags to find out more.
Number of Followers
As noted earlier certain groups are fussy when it comes to follower count. Admittance to many groups is independent of your number of Instagram followers. However, other groups will only allow you in if you have a specific number of followers. Warning: this can be in the thousands.
Rules of Engagement
Finally, a lot depends on the rules of engagement. Scheduled groups require their members to engage with a set amount of posts or face a shadowban. The other kind of group is a rolling group. Within these pods, members must interact with a specific number of previously published posts before other group members contribute to theirs. Ingenious.
Do Instagram groups work?
Crunch time: do Instagram groups actually work? Well, like most things in life, the answer to this question is yes and no. (Sorry!). People have different experiences with engagement groups. But here are the main strengths and weaknesses. Let us tackle the negatives first.
Commenting and liking others’ posts is incredibly time-consuming. This is bad because it prevents you from developing other forms of digital marketing for your business. Keeping track of everything is not only time-consuming but brain consuming. It will take loads of your energy. In many cases, you can get kicked out of a group for simply losing track of everything.
Secondly, your usage of a pod can often be limited. Many pods allow for engagement for only a limited number of posts from a member. This means you cannot depend on them to keep promoting your posts over and over again.
Now we turn to the positives – oh yeah! Social media marketing is already a big thing. However, Insta engagement pods will improve the visibility of your posts no end – particularly if you share the same time zone with your pod. Indeed engagement received in the first hour of your post going live is critical. This is because it matches the algorithm. More eyeballs = better Instagram marketing. It is a no-brainer.
Sharing Knowledge & Expertise
If you enter into a smaller, more focused engagement pod, you will get to share knowledge and expertise with other Insta fanatics. Conversely, you will also get a chance to look at their products and techniques. Learn from the competition.
Should I Use Instagram Groups?
As argued above, Instagram engagement groups have drawbacks and positives. On the face of it, they are perfect. Your posts will get more attention which will make your content appear more popular and so successful. In fact, this will trick the Instagram algorithm into believing your content is better, which will bump it up in others’ reels. As a result, the next time you post the more visible it will be to your loving followers.
Moreover, building up an impressive number of followers is quite a feat. Especially when you are just starting out this can seem daunting, if not impossible. Given this, Instagram groups can appear like a quick fix when faced with the struggle of building up followers organically. Ultimately though the drawbacks of Instagram engagement groups outweigh the benefits. Here is why:
Long gone are the days when you could game Instagram with ease. Over the years, the social media giant has learned how to recognize things that are suspicious. Mark Zuckerberg and co spend millions of dollars on refining their algorithms to promote a genuine user experience. Today a rapid increase in your engagement can set off alarm bells in their algorithms. What this means is that the next time you post it might lead to your content being treated negatively by the platform (even if it does get genuine engagement).
Outcomes are dubious to other Instagram users
People are not stupid. If your number of followers is limited and your posts obtain a disproportionately high amount of activity, people will notice. This can annoy your authentic fans as they will deem you and your account fraudulent. If you are promoting products this can dent the reputation of your brand. Be careful.
You will have to engage with content you do not like or is irrelevant
Chances are you will find yourself in a broad, unfocused Instagram group. While they are easier to get into, you will have to like and comment on low-quality, perhaps mind-numbing, content. Crucially, your other followers will be able to see that you have engagement with this content and it can impact how you are perceived.
Note: this can be circumvented by disguising your behavior through using a fake account to engage with while getting your engagement group to contribute to your real account. Smart eye? But note this will double the amount of time, effort, and complexity which can open you up to getting kicked out.
Do they actually achieve results?
This is a biggy. Members of a pod are not interested in the content of your Instagram account. Essentially they are there for selfish reasons: to improve their own engagement. Rather than investing all your time in Insta engagement groups, it is wiser to focus on building up properly established connections with other users. These will promote your products and create loyal followers no end. The same goes for pod boosted influencers.
Often influencers work in pods and it can be tempting to ask them to interact with your content. However, you should note that influencers who are using pods will not offer any value to your marketing strategy. To avoid this, inspect their content well and apply the same questions to it that we have explored above. Is their engagement relative to their number of followers? Is their account credible? These are the same questions the algorithm will be asking.
The Final Word
If you are just starting out on Insta, the task of building up a big follower base can seem daunting. We understand why you might be tempted to use pods to enhance your marketing techniques. However, you should be cautious. While they may seem like a great quick fix, you should always ask if they are beneficial for you in the long run. When it comes to boosting engagement on Instagram nothing works better than time, energy, and some good old-fashioned networking. Good luck!