Instagram’s New Update Includes Good and Bad Changes for Locations

One of my most popular articles on this blog is how to add geotags to your photos so you can tag them in the correct location. Well, Instagram’s August 17th update (version 7.4) has made some of that post irrelevant. With the new update, you no longer have to turn off Location settings!


Get free Instagram analytics [UPDATED]

Ink361 stats

Update 11/24/15: After their failed attempt to require a subscription for analytics earlier this year, Iconosquare learned a lot. And they’re trying again: starting December 1, 2015, analytics will no longer be offered to free users.  They look to be serious about it this time, so here’s a list of places you can still find Instagram stats for free.

Where can I find free Instagram analytics?

AgoraPulse CEO Emeric Ernault wrote a blog post with five handy alternatives. The problem is that these alternatives also seem better suited to marketers or marketing teams, not casual power users like me. So I did a little work and found three viable Iconosquare alternatives for power users (with no marketing budgets).


What’s a haft seen?

Persian new year haft seen

Happy 1394! Nowruz (نوروز), also known as Persian New Year, is the beginning of the Iranian calendar year. It’s also a religious holiday for the Baha’i and Zoroastrian faiths, both of which originated in Iran. Nowruz is the same day as the Spring Equinox and marks the beginning of 1394.

This year, I’m documenting my haft seen table to give you all a little history behind the celebration, which is a huge deal to Iranians, Kurds, Afghans, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and those in the Zoroastrian and Baha’i faiths. (more…)

The ultimate guide to custom Instagram locations [UPDATE]

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.

Create custom Instagram locations (more…)

You can now change your Instagram captions!

Instagram update 6.2.0 has brought us a cleaner look and an exciting capability: the power to change captions on your photos!

To change a caption on an old Instagram photo, go to that photo in your personal feed. Tap on the button with the ellipsis (the one with three periods), and select “Edit.”

How to edit IG captions, location, and tagged people


Stop doing these 5 things on Instagram

Instagram tips

I’ve been on Instagram an entire year now, and it’s been a really fun ride. But I’ve built up a few pet peeves that I’d like to caution you against, both for my sanity and for the sake of your account’s level of awesome. Since Instagram is the fastest growing social media network, I’m trying to do my part to make sure the newbies are as dedicated as those of us already loving the platform.


Instagram’s new Direct feature challenges SnapChat

Welp, I’ve already downloaded the Instagram update with the Direct feature. Have you?

Instagram Direct

Instagram Direct is a photo messaging component that allows you to photos and videos to up to 15 friends. These photos and videos don’t appear on in your feed, and you can delete them whenever you’d like (unlike SnapChat, which gives the viewer only 10 seconds max to view a photo, and then it’s gone forever).

Essentially, this is a longer-lasting and more connected version of SnapChat. While you can only send content to up to 15 people, the Direct feature offers a very social component in that everyone you sent your photo or video to can comment on it, even if they don’t follow each other.

For brands, Instagram Direct could be a great way to message their influencers about special deals and events. For personal use, it’s really nice in that I probably won’t have to bother with SnapChat any more: I can send pictures and videos to friends and they all can comment on it. I absolutely love this feature.

There is potential for abuse: because you can sent photos and videos to people you don’t follow and people who don’t follow you, spam is probably in Direct’s future. The good news is that you can ignore messages from someone you follow, block people from sending you messages, and report offensive messages. I like that Instagram is thinking ahead on this.

Instagram’s help guide for Direct is very comprehensive. Check it out if you still have questions about the new feature.

Have you downloaded the update yet? What do you think about Instagram Direct?

How to Add Geotags to Your Instagram Photos [UPDATE]

Add location tags to your Instagram photos

We know the whole point of Instagram is to be instant. But things don’t always work out that way: maybe you were too “in the moment” to post that picture at the time, didn’t feel like alerting every one of your followers that you’re not at home for two weeks, or would really like your #throwbackThursday post to appear on your Photo Map.

If you’d like to create custom locations (like your website or other text), check out my post on custom locations for the different types of locations and how to create them.

Don’t worry—you can still get that pin on your map even if you’re not currently at your location. All it takes is a few extra steps.

Before we begin

I’m working from an iPhone 5, but these instructions should work with an Android or any other smartphone that has a camera and two apps: Instagram and Koredoko (I’ve seen others use Pixelgarde, too). Unfortunately, if you’ve already posted your picture, you’ll have to delete the photo and start over—there’s no way to tag a location on your photo after it’s been posted.

Your Location settings for Instagram must be turned off (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Instagram > OFF). Otherwise, you’ll just add the location you’re in now, not the one associated with the picture.  Instagram’s newest update means you don’t have to do this any more. Check out my post here for details

It’s also a wise idea to turn your Location settings for your camera on (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera > ON). This way, your photos will automatically grab the coordinates of your location, which will come in handy later.

Add Your Coordinates

The first app you’ll use is Koredoko, which shows you the latitude & longitude of where a photo was taken. If your picture doesn’t have geotags in it already, you’ll use Koredoko to add it. There’s a wonderful guide to using Koredoko here.

When you open Koredoko, use the photo icons in the bottom left-hand corner to full up a list of the photos in your gallery. Choose the one you like. If you took the picture with the camera location on, latitude and longitude coordinates should automatically appear, and your photo will appear in the correct place on the map.

If there are no coordinates, you will see “N/A.” This means you’ll have to add the coordinates in yourself. To add coordinates, you’ll need to drag and drop your photo onto the correct latitude and longitude on a map. Don’t know the coordinates? Find them here.

Geotagging pictures with Koredoko

Once you have an approximate set of coordinates, locate them on the Koredoko map and then just drag-and-drop your picture there. Unfortunately, there’s no search function in Koredoko, so you might have to do a lot of dragging and dropping until you get to your approximate location. It may be helpful to cross-reference the location in Google Maps.

After you’ve positioned the photo right where you want it, touch the blue arrow in the grey box with your picture and the coordinates. This will take you to the “Detail” page, which shows you the file type, size, pixel height, camera or phone model, etc.

To save your picture, touch the button with the arrow in the top right-hand corner. Choose “Save with Metadata,” and a new photo will appear in your library. This is the one you’ll use in Instagram, because it has the coordinates embedded in it.

Find Your Location

In Instagram, crop and filter the photo with the geotag metadata however you like, including caption and hashtags.

In the “Share Photo” screen, make sure the “Add to your Photo Map” is switched ON. If you just use this, your photo will show up on your map.

If you’d like to include the location, go into the “Name this location” bar. There, Instagram will use the metadata from your phone to find nearby locations. If you see the one you want, select it. Your picture will not only show up on your Photo Map, but will also be grouped in with other pictures taken from this location. If you can’t find your location, type it in the Search bar. It may pop up there.

Geotag on Instagram

And after you hit share, you’ll see that the photo is tagged with a location and it shows up on your map, just like in the picture below.

Adding IG location tags

UPDATE 10/25/13: Pixelgarde’s latest iOS7 update has rendered it sort of unusable. Stick with Koredoko until Pixelgarde’s glitches get updated. 

UPDATE 5/5/14: A VSCO Cam update lets you disable location data when importing and exporting pictures to and from VSCO Cam. To disable or enable it, go to Settings > Privacy > Share location data when exporting.

I’ve recently had trouble with Koredoko. Images will not save to my Camera gallery with location data on it. To get around that, I emailed the photo with location data to myself, and then saved the picture to the Camera gallery. This time, the location data showed up, and I didn’t have any trouble using the Location feature in Instagram. Hope this helps anyone who’s had this problem! 

UPDATE 8/18/15: Instagram’s newest upgrade means this process will be slightly different. Check out this post for details

Has this worked for you? Let me know in the comments!