This easy Instagram hack could revolutionise your feed

Instagram phone
(Image credit: Omkar Patyane/Pexels)

Platforms like Instagram change their algorithms constantly, so it can be hard to keep up with the best way to beat the system, and get your posts seen. And while some tips and tricks might be more about making your feed look good (changing the font in your Instagram bio (opens in new tab), for example), others yield more concrete results.

Illustrator and character artist Mariana Avila (opens in new tab) has uncovered one such trick. She's discovered that Instagram favours posts that use its filters – as opposed to #nofilter  or VSCO filters (opens in new tab) from elsewhere. 

The problem is that many artists and illustrators are importing an image they are already happy with to Instagram, and so don't want to add an extra filter, but Avila has a way round this. She suggests using any IG filter with a low percentage. To do this, select a picture to upload in Instagram, choose a filter, and then tap that filter again. A slider will appear, and you can use it to adjust the filter strength. Go for a low strength, between 2-5 per cent should do.

instagram hack

(Image credit: @marianaavilal on Twitter)

It's a simple trick, but one that divided opinion on Twitter. Some people, such as @foxville_art (opens in new tab) thought the whole thing was ridiculous. 

Twitter screenshot

(Image credit: @foxville_art on Twitter)

While others thought it had already worked for them, and could be the reason why some of their posts do better than others.  

@thedragonsen (opens in new tab) said: "Sometimes I up the brightness of my art in Instagram before posting or do some last minute touch-ups and I realise now those posts always seemed to do a little better."

While @RobbyBloom5 (opens in new tab) said the trick explained, "why some of my older posts got so much traction because I slapped filters on there".

Others, such as @sandforte (opens in new tab) were willing to give it a go and report back. 

Twitter screenshot

(Image credit: @sandforte on Twitter)

When Avila saw her tweet was getting a lot of attention, she flagged up the Instagram influencer who she got the tip from, Courtney Quinn (aka @colormecourtney (opens in new tab)). See Quinn's post below. 

WANNA 🆙 YOUR ENGAGEMENT?! (Read on) 👋🏾 Me again! sharing my IG tips to help your acc. In my last 2 posts we covered the algorithm & captions that increase engagement. Today is engagement in relation to POSTING. If there’s enough interest I’ll cover it for content, promotion, tags & stories next . Posting tips for improving engagement: 💥 EDIT IN INSTAGRAM: A friend with 3M followers told me this trick & it works - if you use the ig filters / edits the app gives you more love & eye balls. I’ll edit my photos in another app, then put like 2% of an ig filter (usually Clarendon) over it. It doesn’t really change the photo but helps improve the reach. I’ll also sometimes “adjust” the photo or turn up the brightness a bit in instagram 💥 TIMING: when the algorithm first came out I decided WHEN you posted no longer mattered. I had a 1:1 meeting with IG & they confirmed, but in the past 3 months I’ve focused a tad on timing & it has increased my engagement a bit. It’s not as important as it used to be, but I think it still matters bc the more engagement you get on a post early on, the better it performs. So if you post when no one is active you miss that opportunity and loose your chance to live respond to comments in the first 20 min (see prev post). With a business/creator acc you can see when your audience is most active. Plan your posts 15 min before that time slot. So no timing isn’t AS important as it used to be, but it can help. 💥 SET A SCHEDULE: this helps you beat the algorithm. Drop a IG LIVE every Monday at 7pm to drive traffic (see @yummertime or @presidentkennedy) OR pull a @colormecourtney (hiii) & post your most coveted content on a weekly schedule. I did this with stop motions every Wednesday night for 2 years! It ensures your audience always tunes in even if you’re not in their feed . HOW WE DOIN’!?overwhelmed or inspired? 😛 I hope this is helpful. I have a ton more tips so TELL ME if you want more . WANT MORE? 🔒 SAVE this for future ♥️ LIKE if you learned something 🤔 COMMENT & tell me what you learned or what else you want to know ➡️ SWIPE to make me hair flip 😛 👀 & STAY TUNED for the next tip - if there’s enough interest/comments I’ll do more Courtney Quinn (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @colormecourtney on Aug 2, 2019 at 4:21pm PDT

Quinn also has some tips about timing, stating you should schedule your posts 15 minutes before your audience is most active. You can find out when they're online by switching to a business profile – this post on making money on Instagram (opens in new tab) shows you how.

And for more Instagram tips and tricks, see our post on how to hack the Instagram algorithm (opens in new tab).

But of course, this could all be set to change soon, as it's recently been announced that both Instagram and WhatsApp are being rebranded (opens in new tab) in order to make it clearer that they're owned by Facebook. Fingers crossed this filter hack still works on what is soon to be 'Instagram by/from Facebook'.

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Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where her blogging prowess led her to become Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on art and design magazines, including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw, and got the 'Apple bug' when working on US title, Mac|Life. In 2018, she left the world of print behind and moved to Creative Bloq, where she helps take care of the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach through trying to please the Google Gods, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure its content serves its readers as best it can. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.