Adobe Post: Create Beautiful Free Social Media Images In Minutes

free_social_media_images

I think I might have just stumbled upon one of the easiest to use photo apps since a long time to create eye-catching photography event invites, Pinterest album covers, newsletter graphics, text posters, Twitter cover images, Facebook ads…you name it.

With Adobe Post (currently available for iPhone) you are only a few taps away from professional looking designs with your own photos or photos from a huge library of creative commons pics. Within seconds, the mobile app allows you to change sizes, layouts, colour palettes, fonts and photo filters.

To give you an idea of what I am talking about, I took some of my favourite inspirational travel quotes to create a new edition of this old post within 50 minutes (including the research for creative commons images and playing around with my customization options = 10 minutes per image).

The easiest way to get started with Adobe Post is to make use of one of the suggested templates, which you can personalize to your liking.

adobe_post_templates

Once you get hooked, you will probably go ahead and see what Adobe Post can do with your own photos. You can upload them from your camera roll, Lightroom, the cloud or take a new shot with your mobile device’s camera.

After finishing your edit — and this is the cool marketer’s stuff — you can easily change the (social media) format of your creation and switch with one tap between Facebook cover image size, Twitter post size, YouTube thumbnail size, LinkedIn cover size, Instagram square format etc. Most of the time the app works really neat and crops your image or relocates your texts and shapes in a way that won’t require further adjustments.

adobe_post_social_media_marketing

Here are a few tips of app features I discovered by chance (no tutorial):

  • zoom in and out of an image with the pinch-to-zoom move
  • rotate an image with the two-finger-rotate move
  • the last item you create will be the foreground layer; previous items move in the background (creating with that in mind will save you time if you want to overlap text and shape layers)
  • tap several times on a single colour palette icon to try all its different looks
  • tap several times on the “text spacing” to resize shapes you may use
  • tap on “text align” to switch between all caps and big/small letters
  • you only need to share the app once on social media to unlock exclusive fonts and shapes
  • you only need to email the app once to a friend to remove the #AdobePost hashtag

I hope you find the app helpful for all your coming social media endeavours!

If you like this post you might also like RollWorld: Spin It, Warp It, Scroll It, Zoom It — Create Tiny Planets And Abstract Art On Your Mobile Device

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How To Hot-Link Instagram Images

If you are looking for a way to repurpose your already edited and published Instagram photos without downloading them from your social network profile and uploading them again on another server, this might be a handy workaround for you. It’s only a tiny bit technical — I promise!

Let’s say you want to integrate an Instagram photo on your blog or website, but you don’t want the typical Instagram look around it (no link to your profile, no caption, no social likes or comments like for the following photo).

View over Queenstown and the Remarkables in #newzealand

A post shared by ae_i (@ae_i) on

 

Instead of saving this image on your own server (or in your WordPress library for example) you can choose to create a link within your website or blog with the URL of the Instagram server. This process is known as hot-linking or inline linking. That’s how the result would look like:

How to:
Open your Instagram profile, click the image you want to save, then right click on it and choose “Inspect Element”. This will open the developers tools box and highlight the URL of the image blue (please click on the image below for a readable version):

debug

Copy and paste the URL after “https” and until “jpg” into a new browser tab. You’re almost there!

In my case, I would have copied the following: https=2//igcdn-photos-h-a=1akamaihd=1net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t51=12885-15/e35/10467974_785588951567543_1739105950_n=1jpg

This line requires a little bit of tweaking before hitting “Enter”. Replace the “=2” by a colon and each “=1” by a dot. To stick with my example: https://igcdn-photos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t51.2885-15/e35/10467974_785588951567543_1739105950_n.jpg

Hit “Enter” and you will see your image in full resolution in your new browser tab. Just copy the URL and refer to it with an <img src=”YourURL“> tag.

Major concerns when hot-linking to Instagram:
You are linking to an image of 1080×1080 px (if uploaded in square format to IG). So if you plan to display it at 20% of its size it would still be better to create a smaller image and upload it on your own server. Why? Even if you display the image at one fifth of its original size, the complete image must be downloaded to a browser before it is displayed in the smaller size, which can make your website or blog significantly slowlier if you proceed with all your images like this.

Major concerns when hot-linking to other websites:
If a large number of people are accessing your website, then a large number of people will be loading that image from the other website to display on your site. This might cause traffic problems for your website or the other website, including charges for serving many images.

Please keep in mind the copyright rules! Do NOT use this method to publish others’ Instagram images on your own website or blog; especially without mentioning the source. This trick is meant to help photographers who wish to repurpose their Instagram photos without having to upload them once more to a second server.

If you like this post you might also like New Free Tools To Analyze Your Instagram Followers And Engagement Rate

Instagram Acronyms Were A Thing In 2015

As the end of 2015 is approaching with rapid strides I digged into my blog statistics to find my most read post this year. Believe it or not, the winner is “Acronym Galore: #jj, #gf, #gotd, #wu, #rsa, #whp, #ic & #tv on #ig”, a text I wrote back in 2013!

The numbers speak for themselves: My Instagram acronym collection attracted well over 5,000 readers in the past 12 months. That’s what I call ‘a good score for a small non-commercial travel & photo blog’, and what content creators call ‘evergreen content’.

Due to the post’s popularity I just updated it with a few new links for extra information and I made sure the content is still correct. Turns out Gang Family is now Global Family, but the handle name and hashtags stay the same and #owu (aka One World United) is no longer active. As bonus, I added a new interesting acronym I discovered in 2015: TV (Transfer Visions).

If you are looking for additional exposure on Instagram to get a name in your photo niche, please read my original article.

If you like travel, nature and urban photography please consider following me on Instagram. Apropos popular: Here is my most liked IG photo of 2015:

Young and old gathering for the daily evening parade at Disneyland Paris #🇫🇷

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My 5 most popular blog posts this year:
1.  Acronym Galore: #jj, #gf, #gotd, #wu, #rsa, #whp, #ic & #tv on #ig
2. Auckland Skyline: Photo Locations
3. New Free Tools To Analyze Your Instagram Followers And Engagement Rate (And Why Iconosquare Is Still Best)
4. New Zealand Communities On Instagram
5. Auckland Sky Tower Colours

French Communities On Instagram

Louvre, Paris, France

Louvre, Paris

After announcing that I moved to France, it seemed like a no-brainer to list worthwhile Instagram accounts that focus on “la joie de vivre” in this part of the world. Please see this post as a sequel to “New Zealand Communities on Instagram” and “Australian Communities on Instagram”. As done before, I recommend checking out the following accounts to learn about stunning travel locations, ideal photo spots, or to connect with the locals.

The hashtag behind each linked Instagram account is the official hashtag you should use if you aim to get featured and grow your audience.

Tip: Don’t forget about the emoji hashtag with the French Tricolore

france-emoji

France in general

@ig_france #ig_france
@exclusive_france #exclusive_france
@france.vacations #france_vacations
@loves.france #loves_france
@loves_france_ #loves_france_
@gf_france_ #gf_france

Also try:
#igers_france
#igersfrance
#visitfrance

Paris

@igersparis #igersparis #igers_paris
@paris_jetaime #parisjetaime
@paris_maville #parismaville

Also try:
#ig_paris
#igersparis
#parisfrance
#parisphoto

Big cities

@objectiftoulouse #objectiftoulouse
@igersmarseille #igersmarseille
@bnw_marseille #bnw_marseille
@lillemaville #lillemaville

Also try:
#igerslille
#igerslyon
#bordeaux
#strasbourg

Regions

@provenceguide #provenceguide

Also try:
#etretat
#cotedazur

Bonus: Europe

@wueurope_ #wu_europe
@europe.vacations #europe_vacations

Do you know of any popular French account or hashtag that I missed? Please leave a comment below!

Make sure to follow me (ae_i) on Instagram for “France through my lens”. Thank you!

✩ Maggio 04, 2015 ✩ Il Team @LOVES.FRANCE presenta: ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ✦🏆 foto di @ae_i 🏆✦ ❉ "Lyon, France" ❉ 〽️️Seguite e visitate la sua bellissima galleria 👊🏼 ㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡ ⓒ ⓞ ⓝ ⓖ ⓡ ⓐ ⓣ ⓤ ⓛ ⓐ ⓣ ⓘ ⓞ ⓝ ⓢ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ❥ seguite ☞ @LOVES.FRANCE ❣ ❥ Tag ☞ #LOVES_FRANCE ❣ ✩ Admin Profile ☞ @olga_sforza ❣ Always …👇🏼 ❥ Group @Loves_Team_World ❣ ❣ ✍ mailto:Loves.Team.World@gmail.com ✍ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ❣ Seguite anche: @loves_vehicles @loves_jobs @loves_besthdr @loves_molise_ @loves_emiliaromagna @vivoturkey @vivosicilia @vivobasilicata ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ❣ Follow ☞ #loves_world #loves__europe #loves_mediterraneo #loves_panama #loves_emiliaromagna #loves_landscape #loves_vintage #loves_mountains_ #loves_freedom_  #loves_trentino #vivobasilicata #vivoturkey #ig_france #igfrance #gf_france #bns_france ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

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New Free Tools To Analyze Your Instagram Followers And Engagement Rate

UPDATE — 18th of January 2016: Iconosquare switched once more back to paid plans (there is only a free trial). Good news though: Compared to the last switch (in April 2015) the new plans are much more affordable. If you don’t care about exports of your reports you can get started with $28.80/year already. I am still convinced that Iconosquare is doing a great analytics job; if you are looking for a completely free tool however, please continue reading…

At the beginning of 2014 I published the blog post Track The Success Of Your Instagram Content Strategy, in which I strongly recommend the usage of Iconosquare, an easy to set up, complete and free analytics tool. Over a year later, my opinion hasn’t changed. Iconosquare is still the king of free Instagram analytics.

However, they shocked their huge and active followerbase a few days ago, when they announced that they had switched their analytics services to paid only. They shortly introduced 3 new plans for different budgets, which I personally considered as way too costly for private users. Their basic analytics pack started at $199 a month. Sniff!

But all is good (for) now. The team behind Iconosquare admitted they “blew things up”, and they rolled back to the version I fell in love with. They have all my respect for that decision; it surely isn’t easy to sacrifice months of work ‘for the mob’. One word only: Crowdsourcing.

iconosquare-instagram

Iconosquare’s email from May 2, 2015

Just to be on the safe side in case Iconosquare switches back to paid only in the future, I’ve been doing some research, trying to find free alternatives for all shutterbugs and ambitious photographers, who depend on some basic Instagram analytics to understand what their followers like or don’t like, and who their followers are.

I filtered all tools I found by the following criteria:

  • does not require additional private data to actually get your hands on the report, but offers a direct connect with existing Instagram login data
  • does not charge anything for at least the very basic data I’m after (all tools below will actually offer more analytics for money too)
  • does work through a web browser or on the two major smartphone / tablet platforms (iOS, Android) to guarantee unlimited access from several administrators (if needed)

3 tools to consider:

1. Besides follower growth and overall engagement, the free Locowise Instagram Analyser compares your post interactions (likes, comments, response time; for both image and video posts) with those of similar Instagram profiles (based on the amount of account followers).

This tool runs in any web browser and will give you a basic understanding if your Instagram growth and engagement rates are healthy, or need to be worked on.

locowise-instagram-analytic

Locowise Instagram Analyser

2. SocialRank does not focus on growth and engagement rate (yet). However, their filters allow you to drill deeper into knowing who your followers are and whom to follow back. You can not only filter by “most valuable”, “most engaged” and “best followers”, but also by bio keyword (for example “photography”, “Canon 5D”, “travel addict” etc.) as well as location (city, state or country) and hashtags they used in the past. With only 1 click you can sort out all those accounts who are inactive or never posted on Instagram.

3. InsTrack (aka InstaFollow, by INNOVATTY) is a mobile App, running on both iOS and Android devices. Free App features include a list of gained and lost followers, a list of Igers that you personally follow, but who do not follow you back, as well as a free “fans” list; followers you don’t follow back. All accounts in these lists can be directly followed or unfollowed from within InsTrack.

Under “Media Insights” you will find a short summary of your Total Likes and Total Comments, as well as Average Likes / Comments Per Post. To see your most popular (liked or commented) media, gain better user insights, or learn more about your most and least engaged followers you will have to do some in-app purchases. You can currently unlock all premium features for a total of $7.76 (one time payment). Sounds fair.

instrack-instagram-stats

INNOVATTY’s InsTrack (InstaFollow)

Iconosquare statistics, which these 3 tools won’t deliver (for free):

  • best time of the day to publish something new on your Instagram profile
  • average lifespan of a post
  • hashtag trends / search / impact
  • filter impact
  • list of all unread comments (plus possibility to reply or delete them)

If you are after the most complete AND free reporting, Iconosquare is still the best choice. Though for various reasons, you might still want to try one of the above mentioned tools; for example if you need to check your Instagram growth and engagement on the go thanks to a mobile App (something Iconosquare does not offer).

If you want to look into further free tools that didn’t match my filters mentioned above, please check:

Did you find another free Instagram analytics tool I didn’t mention here?
Which of the paid Instagram analytics tools mentioned in this Agorapulse article would you recommend for smaller budgets?

Make sure to connect with me on Instagram!

If you like this post you might also like Acronym Galore: #jj, #gf, #gotd, #wu, #rsa, #whp, #ic & #owu on #ig

Wanaka: That (Instagram) Tree Again

wanaka-lone-tree1

2014: THE tree in Wanaka, New Zealand

When I moved to New Zealand in 2011, for me, Wanaka was all about Skydiving. Now, 3 years later, Wanaka is all about “the lone tree”.

This image shift started on social networks, most notably on Instagram. Filtering by hashtag #GigaTownWanaka, I came across the same idyllic, picturesque, maybe even romantic scenery again and again – a single tree in the middle of a lake. That tree clearly had its followership!

But that’s not the whole story. That tree has its own hashtag! There are currently hundreds of photos tagged with #ThatTreeAgain.

wanaka-lone-tree2

2014: #ThatTreeAgain, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

And as if this wasn’t enough, THE tree also has a name thanks to Instagram. True story! I found several Instagram photos of the lone tree captioned with “Hinemoa, Lake Wanaka”. My first reflex was to ask Google about the background story of Hinemoa. But Google didn’t know! (Also a true story!!)

So I asked a New Zealand photographer who has taken stunning photos of “Hinemoa, Lake Wanaka”. To my surprise he couldn’t tell me where he heard the name first or where it came from. But he referred me to @fi_austin.

Fiona (@fi_austin) used to post heaps of photos of #ThatTreeAgain (on her former account @haweachick). She told me, back then she has been regularly asked if the lone tree had a name. And somehow it was a pity it didn’t. So when a friend of hers stumbled across the Maori legend of Hinemoa, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Fiona started to refer to the tree as a “she” and gave her the name Hinemoa – on Instagram. The name stuck!

Working in Social Media, for me it’s the perfect example of how rumours can go viral on any network without having real control. And now, thanks to my blog post, Google also knows. The tree is only a heartbeat away from immortal fame ;)

If you like this post, you might also like New Zealand Communities On Instagram

wanaka-lone-tree3

2011: My very first photo ever of Hinemoa, Lake Wanaka

 

Australian Communities On Instagram


Travel guides are out! Instagram is taking over!

Well, at least in my case. But I’m an addict. I personally like to follow regional and national Instagram accounts as part of my trip preparation. It usually helps me to learn fast about a certain location, to stay informed about ongoing or coming events and to get to know some of the best local photo spots and opportunities.

Since I just spent a few weeks in Oz I compiled a list of worthwhile Australian Communities on Instagram. I figured it would be a nice addition to my updated blog post “New Zealand Communities On Instagram”, which I first published in May 2013.

I’m happy to share my Top 10 (alphabetical order) with you. Please note that these accounts are featuring the work of worldwide Igers while they travel through Australia and make use of specific hashtags:

@aussiephotos #aussiephotos
@australia #seeaustralia
@australiagram #australiagram
@australialovesyou #australialovesyou
@bnw_australia #bnw_australia
@discoveraustralia #discoveraustralia
@exploreaustralia #exploreaustralia
@exploringaustralia #exploringaustralia
@icu_aussies #icu_aussies & #icu_aussies_bnw
@wow_australia #wow_australia

Accounts focusing on Oceania in general (also featuring photos of worldwide artists):

@au_nz_hotshotz #au_nz_hotshotz
@wuoceania #wu_oceania
@loves_oceania #loves_oceania

Further tags to instantly find and connect to Insta Aussies locally (partly featuring photos; though most of these hashtags are used by locals and tourists alike to discuss or show regional captures without being featured):

@exploreuluru #exploreuluru
@queensland #thisisqueensland
@tasmania #discovertasmania
#visitvictoria
#igersaustralia
#sydney
#melbourne
#adelaide
#perth
#darwin

Please leave me a comment if you know of any Australian Instagram account that definitely belongs in this list. Thanks a million!

To have one of your photos featured in our gallery, you must follow the following guidelines 1⃣ follow us @aussiephotos 2⃣ tag your photo with #aussiephotos by doing this you're agreeing to allow us to repost your photo here on Instagram, and we'll be acknowledging that the photo belongs to you 3⃣ photos are original and belong to you 4⃣ your photo must relate to Australia, only Australian themed photos will be featured in our gallery 🐨🐨🐨 5⃣ we will be featuring 6 different profiles on a daily basis 6⃣ we will be conducting challenges every month with weekly winners announced every Monday if the month 🏆🏆🏆 today we have another daily feature, @ae_i terrific photo and as always thank you for supporting us and congratulations again, we'll be looking forward in seeing more of your work in the near future #featurephotooftheday

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If you like this post you might also like Acronym Galore: #jj, #gf, #wu, #rsa, #whp, #ic & #owu on #ig