How to Customize Your Instagram

By Andy Walton

All photos posted to Instagram are cropped into a square format.
i Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Customizing your Instagram page can help you to win new fans and followers on the popular image-sharing service. However, Instagram does not offer the same level of profile customization as Twitter or Facebook, so you may need to think creatively in order to differentiate your feed from others. Your overall goal in customizing your Instagram page should be to make the content you post as interesting and unique as possible.

Profile Bio

Instagram does not allow you to edit the colors and design of your profile as Twitter does, nor let you select a Facebook-style cover image. However, you can enter some bio text on your profile by clicking your profile image on the site's toolbar and then selecting “Edit Profile.” This text will appear above your photo feed on your profile page, and is an excellent opportunity to personalize your Instagram feed. Try to come up with a line or two text that reflects your personality and explains the types of images you post.

Upload Images

The most important part of your Instagram feed is the images you share. By taking your own photos and sharing them online, you can quickly build up a personalized image feed that is unique to you. Perhaps the most important image on your page from a customization point of view is your profile picture. This is the image that appears alongside your username when other Instagram users click on your profile. Try to select a fairly simple image as your profile picture, as it will generally be seen only at thumbnail size by other users.

Use Additional Filters

Filters are a key part of Instagram, allowing you to change the look of your images by changing their lighting and color setup. The official Instagram app includes a range of pre-set filters as standard. However, many additional filters are available through third-party Instagram apps such as Pixlr-o-matic, Streamzoo and Afterlight. Using these filters can help you to differentiate your images from others, allowing you to get effects that you would not be able to get through the standard Instagram filters. Pixlr-o-matic, Streamzoo and Afterlight are all available for both iOS and Android, with Pixlr-o-matic also available on PC and Mac as a Google Chrome browser extension.

Editing Apps

You can take your image customization further still by using editing apps on your images. Editing apps enable you to directly edit the pictures you take before you post them to Instagram, rather than simply applying a pre-set filter. Some popular examples include A Beautiful Mess, which provides a range of sticker-like labels that you can add to photos, Pic Say Pro, which gives you control over advanced colorization features such as saturation and tint, and Diptic, which allows you to create collages from your existing pictures. A Beautiful Mess is available for both iOS and Android, while Pic Say Pro is an Android-only app.