Instagram is a major force in the social media world. To date, there are over one billion users on the platform. That’s a lot of scrolling, engaging and posting at any one given time. That said, one of the more common questions that tends to come up regarding Instagram posts involves the editing process after a photo and/or caption have been posted. Here is where some confusion lies for many in terms of such things as whether or not you can add another picture, if you can edit the text, adjust filters and so forth.
Of course, you want to put your best foot forward with anything you post on Instagram. Especially if you do have numerous followers—they are going to be seeing everything you decide you want your social media world to see. And yes, sometimes mistakes are made, typos can creep in, or perhaps the photo you posted doesn’t look as sharp as it could. Don’t panic! You can get back in there and rectify some mistakes. Below are answers to a few of the more pressing questions regarding how to edit Instagram posts.
How to Edit an Instagram Post: First off, Should You?
There are two schools of thought here. One being, yes if you see that there’s an error or if you’re not totally satisfied with how the post turned out upon revisiting it, then by all means go ahead and make it perfect. Your account is reflective of you and therefore, you want to ensure that it truly is eye-catching and, well, correct. If it’s an account for your business, it needs to look professional.
The second school of thought however in regard to whether or not to edit your Insta post is a bit more technical. That is to say, in terms of ranking and gaining exposure for a given post perhaps you should just let it lie in a manner of speaking. Any content you post is ranked according to engagement rates. So let’s say within a couple of hours you’re already racked up over 1000 likes. If you go back in and edit and then repost, this effectively wipes out the progress you’ve thus far made. It’ll be like resetting the proverbial clock and starting from zero all over again. You will basically lose credit for the original 1000 users who did respond to your Instagram post.
So to edit or not to edit…that’s totally your call. Just be sure to weigh the plusses and minuses first. Ideally, prior to posting anything, you will check it, double check it and yes, even triple check it for accuracy and quality. This way you won’t have to worry about going back and editing. But if you do decide you want to edit…
Editing Your Instagram Caption After Posting
Perhaps the number one question users have when it comes to Insta editing: can I go back in and edit the caption once it’s been posted. This is largely in part because of misspellings and/or typos. And certainly why wouldn’t you want to edit if indeed there’s an error. You want your followers to see perfection, right? The other reason for wanting to tweak the text is poster’s remorse. Perhaps it was late at night, or maybe a heat of the moment situation…whatever the cause, you let your heart get the better of your head and now you regret what you posted, so much so that you most definitely want to go back in and change it. Here’s what you do!
Locate the post you want to edit.
Hopefully it’s not too far back, otherwise you may be scrolling for a bit. Once you do find the photo/post that needs some caption editing, you tap on the 3 dots in the upper right corner of the image. “Edit” should appear; at this point the text box will be visible and ready for you to work your editing magic. Go ahead as far as correcting your mistakes or righting the wrong that got away from you. And then upon completion, tap done for iOS or the checkmark in the upper corner for Android.
What about adding spaces?
This is a common complaint of many Instagram users. You’ve written this brilliant and beautifully captivating post. It’s eloquent and meaningful and utilizes just the right combination of emojis and hashtags. It is Instagram-hall-of-fame worthy, it is that good! You post it, lo and behold, it comes out as one giant jumble, a wall of text if you will that is tedious to read because it lacks formatting. Adding spaces to your insta posts can be challenging. But without them especially for longer posts your words can look a mess. Which consequently, should prompt you to want to go back and edit.
Don’t hit the space bar after a period.
This will actually serve to erase any relevant formatting within your post. Instead when you get to the point where you want a line break, hit “Enter.” You will then type in a symbol such as a dash or period. Following this symbol hit “Enter” again and this will allow you to start typing your next paragraph—with a visible line break in between the two. Keep in mind, whatever symbol you do input will be seen in your post. There are also some Instagram caption apps / space generators available that make all of this a bit easier.
Should You Edit Hashtags After You’ve Already Posted?
That’s a very good question! Hashtags can be incredibly important to your post. Many businesses for example will utilize key hashtags in order to promote a product or service. Additionally, hashtags can help users cut through some of the digital clutter in a manner of speaking. And also, for newer users—individuals and businesses—the use of strategic hashtags can help you gain more followers quicker than you otherwise might. So if you’ve gone ahead and posted and yet, after the fact decide that you want to hone in on a more specific or relevant hashtag, then follow the caption editing steps in order to go back and input some additional hashtags.
Hashtags also help with localization
With marketing for instance, if you want to target a town or city, then utilizing geographical hashtags can really help draw attention to your Instagram post. If you’re a brick and mortar store, localization becomes increasingly important. And so adding those geographic hashtags will help draw the most relevant consumers in.
Photo Edits Once You’ve Posted: The Bad News
Sometimes the quality is just not where we want it to be. People are attracted to images. Eye catching, bright, fun, vibrant, even quirky images are what capture users’ attention and hopefully gain you some more followers in the process. Some reports have estimates of 40 million photos per day being uploaded to the platform. Certainly not a small number. This is why you want to be at your best as far as the images that you post. It’s a crowded field out there.
Did you apply the right filter?
Perhaps that’s the problem you wish to correct; the filter you’ve chosen, you realize now, is completely wrong for what you’re tying to convey. Maybe the cropping isn’t up to par. And so you’ve somehow skewed the picture in not the most flattering way. Whatever the issue with the photo, the bad news…You can’t go back an edit a picture after it is posted. Why don’t they allow this type of editing? In part it has to do with Instagram’s policy. Given that certain types of images are prohibited, for example explicit pictures, the fear is that a user might upload a passable image and then go back in and under the guise of editing, swap it out for something that violates house policy. This is one of the reasons photo editing is prohibited.
You can delete your post.
In deleting, you can manage a photo edit in that way. That is to say, currently the only true way of editing any already posted Instagram image is to simply delete the entire post and then reload with the adjusted image. And certainly, if you really are unhappy with the final product, then by all means you should delete it and redo it, perfecting your photo so that it looks precisely how you want it to. Again however, this will mean that any user engagement will be effectively erased. You’re starting from square one as far as accumulating likes and comments. So if a particular post does in fact seem relatively popular, you may just want to let it go as is—despite how much you cringe upon looking at that imperfect picture.
Adding text to your video
Perhaps you uploaded a video and you think the video would be clearer and easier to consume by your audience if it had text in it. You can add animated text to your video to help or subtitles to help with this. Many videos are played without volume as people scroll through their feeds. Some animated text or subtitles could help convey the message better.
So what do you do as far as adding more photos?
Unfortunately, the only answer here is that you will have to delete the post and then reupload with the added images now included. Same as before, you will lose an engagement you have as far as that post goes and will be starting from scratch, but if you really do want to adds pics be sure to try and do so as quickly after your initial post as you possibly can.
The benefits of adding more images
Even though you may lose a ton of likes by having to redo the post, there are still some benefits to going back and including those extra images. First off, if you are a business for example and have a promo running, the use of numerous images will tell a much more comprehensive story. Also, by including more than one image, the spamming factor gets minimized as you’re not posting photo after photo with the same theme but are including all such images together in one post. So if in fact you do rethink your initial post and want to go back and add in those other photos, then do so. Again, just do it sooner rather than later.
The Best Advice About Editing: Proof EVERYTHING!
It would stand to reason that ideally, the best editing advice is not to have to edit in the first place. For whatever social media channel you plan to post on, the key to an effective and edit-less post is to proof everything thoroughly prior to clicking that “share” button. This way you don’t have to worry about the hassle of having to go back in and edit or needing to delete all together and reload.
Especially if you’re a business or an influencer, this is a huge part of your job after all—getting that brand exposure and doing so in the most professional way possible. Having error free posts lends a great deal to your overall credibility. Avoid trying to post to Instagram on the fly if at all possible. The best posts are done in a composed manner when you’re not feeling rushed to just “get something out there.” When you have time to actually reflect upon the photo and words associated and ensure they are something you can be proud of, that is the ideal time to create your post.
Read your caption out loud.
This may feel a little funny, but you’d be surprised at how much reading the words you’ve typed out loud can help catch errors. When reading anything out loud, the way in which it sounds to the ear can be quite different from the way in which the eyes scan it. You’re forced to slow down a bit, and in doing so are likely to catch mistakes or other such errors that your eyes may have glossed over.
Have a proofreader.
By this token, you might want to enlist the assistance of a friend or colleague. A second set of eyes never hurts. Particularly if this is for a business or is otherwise a fairly important post, allowing someone else to take a look is a smart move. Again, that second set of eyes could easily catch a typo that you overlooked.
Double check those images
Play around with your photos for a bit—don’t be too hasty in getting them out there. Look at them using different filters. Crop more than once. Ask someone to take a look at the photos in question as well and consequently get their opinion. The key is not to just rush through for the sake of posting.
You Instagram posts say a lot about you—in some ways you might say they are you. That being the case, you don’t want the images and words that you put out to the social media world to be fraught with errors and inconsistencies. Taking the necessary time before hand to proofread and carefully review the post will help cut down on the number of edits or re-dos that you undertake.
And again, even having a friend or co-worker take a look will doubly help to minimize the likelihood that you will have to go back and edit that Instagram post. The more thorough you are in this case, the better off you will be!