5 Windows Phone tips to use Instagram like a pro

While we wait for the official Instagram app to come to Windows Phone, we're happy using third-party apps like 6tag or Instance. If you're new to the social network, we've gathered 5 tips for you to use Instagram like a pro. 

Head past the break to see our video tutorial and get links to all the must-have apps for Instagram on your Windows Phone.

1. Turn on the square grid

Instagram displays photos and videos in square aspect, so keep that in mind when using the camera. If you're using Nokia Camera, turn on the square grid. Go to settings > framing grids > square. This will help you see which objects in front of you will fit when uploaded to Instagram.

2. Use photo editing apps

People love filters on Instagram. Apps like 6tag and Instance have built-in filters you can use to spice up your photos, but you don’t have to limit yourself. There are plenty of photo editing apps at the Windows Phone store. One of our favorites is Fhotoroom. In addition to the usual image editing controls, there are several styles to choose from in addition to textures, light effects, and vignettes. Go ahead and get creative, but try not to overdo it.

3. Use hashtags

Your photos may look beautiful, but you won’t get ‘likes’ if no one sees them. Use relevant hashtags to gain exposure. Have a photo of your dog? Go add #instadog, #dogsitting, #dogstagram, etc. Instagram allows you to have up to 30 hashtags per photo. If you need help with hashtag ideas, there’s a great app from the Windows Phone store called Tagram. DO NOT put the hashtags in your photo caption. #It #will #annoy #your #friends #on #Twitter #or #Facebook. Insert the hashtags as a comment instead. It’s just as effective.

4. Add location

Add your Foursquare account and share the locations of the photos you want. This automatically checks you in so you don’t have to open the Foursquare app separately. This also adds your photo to that location’s Instagram page, so more views for your photo.

5. Reply the right way

When responding to comments, don’t forget to include the usernames. If you don’t include their username, they won’t get a notification and they probably won’t see your comment. To respond in 6tag, just press and hold on a comment. It will automatically insert the name for you.

Instagram is not all about filters. It’s a popular social network with over 100 million active users. These 5 tips should hopefully get you better at using it even before the official app hits the Windows Phone store. Have any more tips? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.