UPDATE 8/17/15: Instagram’s newest update has removed this capability entirely, only allowing recognized locations (from Facebook). That means this post is essentially useless.
But helpful reader Zack mentions that you may still be able to add custom locations, but you’ll need to enter them in Facebook first. He pointed me to these links from Instagram: How do I create a new location? and Why can’t I add a custom location I’ve used in the past in a new post? Some good stuff that adds a little context. Thanks, Zack!
I’m sure you’ve seen grayed out location links before. A lot of fashion bloggers and brands use these to promote their websites or to instruct readers on how to enter contests and such. They’re pretty handy.
I’m going to show you how to do one so that you can promote your website, give instructions, or just let everyone know your frame of mind.
- Custom location that uses the image’s geodata (when you’d like to have this on your photo map, but don’t want to use the normal location names that come up)
- Custom location that uses the poster’s location data (the one I’d recommend the least; this will show the location data from wherever you’re posting the picture from)
- Custom location with no corresponding map (if you want to name a location but don’t want it to show up on your map)
Instagram has more about custom locations and their implications here.
When it says “Find or create a location,” type in the custom location you’d like to create.
Then select “Create a custom location,” and your custom location will appear.
Here’s where you need to be careful: if the image has location data (or geodata) embedded in it, the grayed out location will show the location from where you took the picture (this is the first type of custom location).
If you have removed geodata from your image, the grayed out location will show the location from where you’re posting the picture if your location services are set to “While using the app.” This is the second type of custom location, and I don’t recommend it unless you’re 100% okay with anyone knowing your exact location when you post something.
If you’re curious about getting geodata on your pictures, I wrote about it here.
To create a grayed out location with no map, you must:
- make sure your Location Services in iOS 8 are set to “Never” instead of “While using the app.”
- make sure you have saved the picture without geodata. If the image has geodata, this will appear when you upload the image.
When uploading the image, you’ll use the same steps above. Because your location settings are turned off, you’ll get a pop-up that says “Turn on Location Services” with instructions on how to do this. Ignore it, pressing “Cancel.” Then go about creating your own custom link as normal.
Note: if you’ve created a custom link before that has geodata attached to it, you won’t be able to edit it or recreate the custom location without geodata. So be careful what you’re making the first time!
And there you have it! Now you can make custom locations to promote your website, too!
I hope you find this helpful. Send me your thoughts and questions in the comments.