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August 1, 2014

#instaFF—#FF on Instagram: Why not?

#FF is the hashtag that the Twitter community uses to recommend people to follow (some people use #FollowFriday too) on Fridays. It’s fun, and a good way to give some love back to one’s community.

The equivalent doesn’t really exist on Facebook, App.Net, Pinterest, etc. and I decided to give it a shot on Instagram today. I picked 4 accounts that I’ve been following and enjoying and I made a quick composite image on Photoshop:

Now the great thing about this is that Instagram will let you tag people on a photo which is exactly what you’d like to achieve with an #InstaFF (let’s call it this way). After all, it’s about bringing other accounts to your followers’ attention.

I really like the way it looks on this 2×2 grid. When I tap on the screen, the account names (that are also direct links) pop up nicely. Here is a screen capture video on my phone:

How to create something like this?

Well, I used Photoshop to create a 1320 x 1320 canvas (each photo is a 640 px square and I’m adding 40 pixels for padding) before copying photos from Instagram that represent the accounts well (I do this by using the Inspect Element console on my Chrome).

I then added a centered white square and text layer using one of the typeface I adopted for I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. Don’t worry about the final size of the image. Instagram can take it…

How to get the image on Instagram?

Good question. Uploading via the Instagram API is not possible, so I’ve been using Latergramme lately and I really love it. It is a great way to not only post images to Instagram from one’s desktop, but also schedule them. Quite handy.

Download the Latergramme app first and upload/schedule photos directly on their site. An alert pops up on your iOS device when it’s time to post a photo on Instagram, and in a couple of taps, it transfers the assets from the Latergram.me app to the Instagram app (including the description for the photo). Filters, tagging, etc. are done directly on the Instagram app.

Have you tried #InstaFF?

I don’t pretend to have invented anything. I am sure that other people have thought about this before me. Still, what do you think of this idea? Are you ready to give it a shot? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.