27 Secret Instagram Tips in 2022 (Shh Don’t Tell Anyone)

Last Updated: August 4, 2022
We’ve done the legwork to find out which features on Instagram are the least known and created a list with 27 secret Instagram tips that you definitely don’t want to miss!
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Learn about the secret Instagram tips given in this article to improve your Instagram game.

Instagram has been around since 2010, meaning it’s had over 10 years to expand and grow into the platform we know and love today.

Can you imagine if you were still only able to post single photos to your Instagram feed? 

We can’t either! 

Since Instagram is always expanding, changing, and adding features, it can be difficult to keep up or even understand how to use everything that the platform offers you.

With Instagram more important than ever in terms of brand reputation, knowing secret Instagram tips can help you use the platform more effectively. 

Having a solid presence on Instagram is absolutely vital for any brand, business, influencer, creator, artist, etc. that wants to remain relevant in their niche, expand their audience base, and see real-world profits from their Instagram efforts. 

This is no easy task, and the fact that Instagram is so complex these days with different content types can make it even tougher!

How can you find all the must-have tips and tricks to optimize your Instagram profile? 

We’ve done the legwork to find out which features on Instagram are the least known and created a list with 27 secret Instagram tips that you definitely don’t want to miss!

After reading our guide, you’ll walk away with a couple of aces up your sleeve to make sure that you can beat out the competition on Instagram. 

Let’s get going! 

27 Secret Instagram Tips and Tricks

Instagram is always changing, just like other platforms, which is why you must stay updated with its latest features.

Below you can find some secret Instagram tips that can help you boost traffic and become successful on this platform.

1. Turn on Instagram Post Notifications 

Instagram Post Notifications

One of the best strategies to understand what’s going on in your niche is to check out popular and relevant accounts that you can model or use to your benefit.

You’re constantly checking these accounts, but how can you be sure that you don’t miss something? 

The good news is that you don’t have to keep checking again and again— you can turn on notifications for certain accounts, which means you’ll receive a notification when that user posts a new piece of content. 

That way, you don’t have to go back and forth to their account and wonder obsessively if you’ve missed something.

To turn on these notifications, visit one of the profiles you want to follow, or check out their content in your news feed.

Click the three dots on the side of the content and select the option “Turn on Post Notifications”.

If you start to get overwhelmed by the amount of posts or no longer need to follow them, simply follow the same steps to turn them off. 

You also need to ensure that you allow your device to send notifications from Instagram. 

For an iOS device, navigate the following steps: “Settings” – “Notifications” – “Instagram” – “Allow Notifications”.

On Androids, it’s almost the same: “Settings” – “Apps” – “Instagram” – “show notifications.”

2. Use Instagram as a Photo Editor

Instagram as a Photo Editor

Whether you’re new to Instagram or have been using it for a while, you may have noticed that Instagram has a great set of tools for editing and filtering photos. 

You can take advantage of these editing options and use them to edit photos for all other social media platforms without actually posting the content to Instagram.

The first step in doing so is to check that “Save Original Photos” is activated in the settings of your Instagram.

You can verify this via the setting page, which you can locate with the gear icon on your profile page. 

When you’re ready and have confirmed, open your image in Instagram and edit it as you normally would. When finished, turn on airplane mode on your phone and publish the photo. 

Of course it won’t go through to be published; you’ll get a failed message saying it couldn’t post, but it will save this photo to your phone’s camera roll, allowing you to use it or send it wherever you please with the new edits. 

3. Organize Instagram Filters 

You’ll have plenty of options when using Instagram filters and you may even have a few favorites.

Instead of scrolling through each time, did you know it was possible to organize the filters as you please? 

You can then get to your favorites quicker and you don’t have to even deal with seeing filters you hate!

To change the order of filters, open a photo in the Instagram editor and start editing it as you normally would.

Once you are on the filters page, you’ll scroll all the way to the right and tap the “manage” icon. 

You’ll then have a list of the filters appear vertically; you can tap on them and drag them to your desired order. 

You can even hide the ones you don’t want to see anymore by deselecting the checkmark on the right side. Who knew Instagram was so customizable?

4. Clear Search History 

Clear Search History

Just like you may not want to see some of the Instagram filters, you may also want to remove some of the accounts that you searched for previously.

Whether you’re just ultra organized or a secret lurker, no worries! Instagram’s got you covered. 

If you want to clear your search history on Instagram, you can do it two ways. Go to your recent searches and click the X icon of the accounts you searched for.

This is useful if you don’t want to delete everything. 

If you want to clear your whole history, you can do this via the Options gear icon on your profile page.

Simply click clear search history and confirm by tapping yes, I’m sure. 

Done! Clean slate once again. 

5. Edit Tagging Options 

If you want to ensure that there are no surprises when people view your tagged photos, you can require your approval before the photos get added to your profile, avoiding any unfortunate incidents. 

Go to your photos and then hit the “photos of you” button, right above your feed posts. Then, click the three dots at the top right. 

You’ll be presented with a menu; hit tagging options and then add manually. Now, every time you’re tagged, you’ll get notified and have the option to add it to your profile. 

6. Use Instagram in Incognito Mode 

Hate the fear of accidentally liking a photo when you’re sleuthing on Instagram? We do too. 

Now you don’t have to worry— you can check out any profile you want and stalk anybody, from your secret crush to your mother-in-law to your ex and even your target audience members if you want to see how they engage with other brands and their own content. 

If you don’t want to accidentally like any content while viewing Instagram, follow this easy Instagram hack

Open the page and content that you want to view as you normally would while connected to data or Wi-Fi. 

Once everything is loaded, switch your device to airplane mode. You’ll be able to see all the content that you pre-loaded but you don’t have to worry about interacting or engaging by mistake! Awesome. 

First, load the desired feed while connected to Wi-Fi or data.

If you didn’t pre-load everything you want, simply turn your connection back on, load more, and then go back to airplane mode.

It’s very easy and really avoids any embarrassment you might have if you’re really worried about liking something by accident. We don’t judge! 

7. Hide Tagged Photos 

Hide Tagged Photos

If you’ve already been tagged in photos that you really hate or feel misrepresents your brand or business, you’re probably wishing to get rid of them. 

The good news is, you’ve finally found your answer— you don’t have to live with that unflattering photo for the rest of your Instagram days. It doesn’t have to hurt your brand’s appearance. 

You’ll have to navigate to the photos of you section on your Instagram feed. Click the icon with a person in the right corner.

You’ll then click the three dots in the top right corner on the next screen that says hide photos

After that, you can choose all the ones you want to remove. After you finish, finalize by clicking hide photos

The photos will remain on Instagram wherever they were originally posted, but you won’t be associated with them on your own profile.

8. Add a URL in Instagram Bio 

We’ve given you quite a few tips on hiding things on Instagram, but let’s use this one to add something. 

You aren’t able to use clickable links anywhere on Instagram except in your bio on Instagram.

You can still paste them in other sections, but it just won’t be clickable, forcing users to copy and paste them. 

In your bio, you can post a clickable link, which is where you need to make sure that you have it.

You can use “link in bio” on your posts to direct users to the clickable link. You can also use tools like linktr.ee to add multiple links via one link. 

9. Edit Your Photo Map 

Edit Your Photo Map

If you didn’t know this already, you’ll also see a photo map on your profile that shows all of your posted photos in map view based on the geotags you’ve used. Kind of weird, kind of cool. 

You can view this map by visiting your profile and tapping the location pin icon.

You’ll then see all of your photos grouped according to the locations you’ve shared on Instagram. If you didn’t include locations on your posts, it won’t appear on the map. 

Perhaps you want to use location tags but don’t want to share this information on the map. You can remove this information without much issue. 

View your photo map and zoom in on the group of images that you want to remove. Tap edit in the top right corner; the numbers near the photos will switch to green. 

You can then tap the cluster and be able to deselect the photo, dissociating the photo from the map. Upon finishing, tap done and confirm

When you remove these photos from the map, it’s permanent, and the geotags you used to place them there will also be removed as well. 

10. Explore the World 

While you may not like that people can see your info on the map, the map feature can also be incredibly fun and useful. 

You can find photos from all around the world and even search for them using the magnifying glass.

When you’re searching for content on Instagram, type in your desired query, and then hit the places tab to filter to location. 

You’ll be able to then see all posts that are geotagged with the location that you queried. Pretty nifty! 

You can also click on the geotag in any post and see more about that location directly from the post. 

11. Explore Nearby Locations 

Explore Nearby Locations

You can even discover more about your local area by using the Instagram map. You can use the same magnifying search icon on the home screen to find stuff near you. 

When you click in the search bar, hit near current location. You can then select from nearby geotags. 

12. Opt out of Ad Tracking 

Instagram uses your in-app activity to recommend ads to you based on their specific algorithm. Do you like to see the ads they choose for you? 

Are they suited to your desires and needs? 

If you prefer that they don’t make decisions on which ads are most relevant to you, you can decide to opt out of this tracking so that they don’t do that. You’ll have to do so via your device. 

iOS: Settings > Privacy > Advertising > Limit Ad Tracking 

Android: Google Settings > Ads > Turn off Interest-Based Ads

13. Hide Photos From Users on Instagram  

If you follow certain hashtags on Instagram, you may have seen that it can get annoying when certain users pop up in your feed and you don’t really enjoy their content. You may wonder, why am I seeing this? 

Then you remember that you follow the hashtag. 

You can discourage Instagram from showing you their content in the hashtag feed by tapping the three dots at the top of the content.

You can then choose a few options, including don’t show for this hashtag, or even report or unfollow hashtag for more severe situations. 

14. Send Your Photo Privately 

You can send your content to people privately on Instagram. This is especially great if you want to showcase one of your posts to a user or provide specific information that you posted. 

In order to send your post, visit the post that you want to send and click the letter icon (last icon from the left). 

You can then send it to the user that you want to see the content; you can even send to multiple users at once without creating a group message, which is useful. 

You’ll then see the content in your DM conversation; if you don’t have an active DM conversation, it will create a new one and can see any subsequent responses there. 

15. Share Photos Privately from Other Accounts 

You can do the same with photos from other accounts. This is especially popular for users to do when they want to share products that they like and enjoy; you may just be one of them! 

Follow the same steps as listed above to share photos from other accounts to a DM. 

16. Use the “Return” Key for Better Caption Formatting 

Hashtags can overwhelm your captions if you’re not careful. In order to produce better-looking captions, you should use the return key. 

Hit the “123” key in the left bottom corner of the keyboard, and you’ll then see the return key.

You can use the return key to optimize your captions and separate the hashtags. Tap it 3 times.

Users have to click on more after the first 3 lines of a caption, making it more effective to put your hashtags down below the caption. 

Remember, Instagram will only show a max of 3 lines from a caption, after that the user needs to click “More.”

You can also set up your captions in the notes app or in a text editor like EverNote to make them look clean and sharp. 

17. Send a Direct Message 

Send a Direct Message

If you want to send a direct message to a user without accessing any content first, use the chat bubble icon on the far right of the screen. 

Tap this icon to open up your DMs. You can use the far right compose icon with a pencil and paper to write a new message.

You can search from a list of suggested users or search for the username you want to message. 

You can send text, photos, videos, and even audio to users directly. You can decide if the photos or videos stay in the chat or if they disappear after viewing.

18. View the Most Popular Hashtags 

View the Most Popular Hashtags

Hashtags are a vital part of Instagram and you want to make sure you know which hashtags are the most popular in your niche. 

You can use the search function to find popular hashtags; for instance, if you search “lake” and hit the tags button, your search will show all of the popular hashtags using that phrase.

Top results include #lake, #lakers, #laketahoe, #lakelife, and more. 

You can see how many posts appear with each hashtag and that helps you know how many users are posting with it and that it could be a popular tag. 

Be careful using overly popular tags, though, because your content is less likely to be seen and pushed down the hashtag feed faster. 

If you’re serious about boosting your hashtag game, check out the top Instagram hashtag generator tool.

You can search for hashtags in your niche, see performance stats and analytics, filter your selections, and generate hashtags for you. 

Then, you can organize them into hashtag sets for easy posting. It’ll change your life! Much easier than using Instagram and doing your own digging around. 

19. Embed Your Instagram Photos to a Website 

Looking to post your Instagram content to your blog or website? Want to share your latest Insta to your blog or website?

Visit the post you want to share, hit the three dots, and tap embed

You’ll copy the HTML code that Instagram provides you and that’s it! Paste it into your website or blog post and you’re good to go. 

20. Add a Border to Your Photos 

Instagram used to feature many bordered photos, but you may have noticed this trend falling by the wayside. That’s because they’ve made it more difficult to find the border feature. 

You can easily find it in the editing section if you know where to look. First, open your photo in Instagram and navigate to the editing screen. 

Tap on one of the filters and then tap on it again .You’ll then see the intensity slider, which makes the filter stronger or weaker, and on the right side of that there is a border icon. 

Click it to add or remove the border. Nice! 

You can even use the border on its own without the filter; simply slide the intensity bar all the way down and the photo won’t appear filtered at all, but the border will remain. 

21. Manage Multiple Instagram Accounts 

Manage Multiple Instagram Accounts

As of February 2016 you can add multiple accounts to your Instagram, meaning you no longer have to sign out every time you want to post a new picture on your dog’s account.

Woof woof!

To add additional accounts, go to your profile page, click your username at the top, then click “+ Add Account”. Enter the username and password of the new account and it will be added to yours.

You can toggle between accounts by clicking the username at the top of your profile page.

Instagram used to only let you add five accounts, but some people have reported being able to add more.

If you do this be careful! You wouldn’t want to mix up which accounts you’re commenting from!

To quickly see which account you’re currently working with, check the circular button in the bottom right to make sure the profile picture is correct. Phew!

22. Set Your Instagram Profile to Private

If you want your profile to be private and hide your content from users who don’t follow you, visit your profile settings and click on privacy . You’ll see a toggle button at the top of the page. 

Tap it to activate the private account setting; the switch will turn to blue. Your content will be hidden from non-followers and they have to send you a request to follow you. 

If you’re a business and want more people to see your account, your account should remain public.

Also, private accounts won’t get their content in hashtag feeds, which is a big disservice for businesses and brands. 

23. Add Links to IG Stories 

Add Links to IG Stories

You may have seen the Swipe Up feature on Instagram stories and wondered how to get it. You can add a link to your Instagram story only if: 

OR

  • Your account is verified (blue checkmark next to name)

Unfortunately, if you don’t meet this criteria, you won’t be able to add a link to your IG stories. Keep working up to it! 

24. Link Your IG to Twitter, Facebook, and Other Platforms 

When you link your social media accounts you can share to multiple networks when you post from IG and you can even make it automatic. 

Go to Profile > Linked Accounts > Share Settings; there you can select the accounts you wish to connect. 

You can then select or deselect the accounts you want to share your content to when you are posting on Instagram.

You can also select the auto-share option, but it’s usually better to do it manually because it’s very easy and not all posts look good on every social networking site due to tech specs.  

25. Target Instagram Followers through Facebook Ads 

If you want to step up your game and get more followers through official advertising on Instagram, you can do so with Facebook Ads.

Since Instagram and Facebook are one, ad campaigns are managed from there. 

This can be a pricey option but can get you in front of your target audience more frequently. 

26. Like Instagram Comments 

Like Instagram Comments

Liking comments will get you noticed on Instagram and grab the attention of users through a notification without you having to create anything; a like is a like! 

Here’s how you like a comment on Instagram:

  1. Open the app.
  2. View a post. 
  3. Hit view all comments.
  4. Tap the heart that appears to the right of the comment. It will turn red when you like it.

Sometimes Instagram will show the first one or two comments in the news feed; you can also like comments from there by doing the same.

When you like a comment, the user who left it is notified, getting them curious about who liked their comment. 

This generates exposure for your profile in such a simple way! 

27. Create Albums with IG Story Highlights 

Instagram stories is without a doubt one of the most popular Instagram features to date and it continues to shine both in terms of advertising as well as getting more attention and engagement from your followers. 

Instagram stories are only available for 24 hours on Instagram, but did you know that every time you post an Instagram story, it gets archived on your account? 

You are the only one that has access to this— none of your followers can see it. You also won’t be able to see which users viewed the story, only the total number of views. 

However, you can still share these stories with your followers and profile viewers after they’ve already expired on Instagram.

Haven’t you ever noticed the profiles that have a bunch of small circular albums with IG stories in them? 

This is the best way to share information and past stories with your Instagram followers and profile viewers! Putting your IG stories into highlight albums will pin them to your main profile and provide a whole new source of content and relevant info for your brand image. 

You can also post Instagram stories with the intention of creating an album for them later; in this way, you’re using strategic content planning for your Instagram and putting your content to good use not only in the story, but long after. 

To create branded IG highlights album covers, you can use an Instagram photo editing app like Canva that will provide you with beautiful design choices that you can customize; it’s free. 

Final Thoughts: Secret Instagram Tips 

Who knew that there were so many simple and secret tips to help you optimize the way you use Instagram?

The possibilities are truly endless! 

You can use the tips from our list to help you customize your profile and setting to exactly how you like them, or even to boost your followers and engagement on Instagram through tips like hashtag use and IG story highlights. 

Do you have any secret Instagram tips that you want to share with us?

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Written by Eddie Thunder

I’m a full-time social media research specialist. Actually you could say I’m a bit obsessed. I seek out the latest information and hacks for our How-to Guides. As well as that, I put companies under the microscope for reviews. Yes I’m hyper-critical when reviewing services, and most can’t handle the harsh truth – can you?