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.
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.
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.
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.
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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