This is the ultimate tutorial on how to use Preview App for Instagram.
Once you complete it, you will be an Instagram pro.
Preview is the most used Instagram planner in the world.
You can use it on your phone (iPhone and Android) and on your computer.
For this tutorial, I am going to show you how to use Preview on your phone.
Preview combines the best Instagram tools – in one simple app.
You can plan your Instagram feed, rearrange the order of your posts, edit your photos, find the best Instagram hashtags, test your hashtags, check your analytics, see the analytics of other Instagrammers, find Instagram caption ideas, prompts – and more.
So how to use Preview App for Instagram?
Let’s look at each feature, step-by-step:
- Create your account
- Preview your content
- Upload photos and videos
- Upload carousel album
- Split image
- Free Photos
- Top 9
- Rearrange the order of the posts
- Delete posts
- Edit photos
- Fonts, symbols & characters
- Caption Finder
- Hashtag Finder
- Save your favorite hashtags
- Change your posting timezone
- Tag people and location
- First comment auto-post
- Replace the post
- Change video cover image
- Plan your Reels
- Plan your IGTVs
- Plan your Instagram Stories
- Calendar view
- Post on Instagram
- Reply to comments
- Hide comments
- See quick post analytics
- Full Analytics
- Insights about your followers
- Competitor Analytics
- Add more Instagram accounts in Preview
- Your Settings
- Remove planned posts from your Preview feed after you post
- Manage your Hashtag Groups
- Add team members
- Content Calendar
1. Create your account
If you have already created a Preview account, go to Step 2.
When you open Preview for the first time, you will have to create your account.
You have the choice between 3 plans:
- Free: Plan unlimited posts for free and use the core features for free, forever.
- Pro: Unlock more features (like all the filters)
- Premium: Unlock all the features & tools.
Note: You can plan unlimited posts for free on all plans.
The “Login” option:
Have you already created an account with Preview before? If so, press on “Login” at the bottom of the screen.
Need help logging in?
Press on the “i” button:
2. Preview your content
As you can see, there is a top menu bar with different icons.
Tap on each to preview your content for:
- Your main Instagram grid
- Instagram Stories
3. Upload photos and videos
Upload as many posts as you want.
To upload photos and videos:
- Press the “+” button
- Choose your photos / videos
Your photos / videos will appear in your Preview feed:
Tip for Android phones:
To select multiple photos:
- Hold your finger pressed on a photo, or
- Select photos from the “Photos” app
4. Upload a carousel
A carousel is an Instagram post that has multiple photos and videos in one post. It’s also called an “album” or an “album carousel”.
To create a carousel post:
- Press the “+” button
- Select “Carousel”
- Choose your photos / videos
Want to repost other people’s posts? Press on “Repost” to repost as many posts as you want, with no watermark.
6. Split image
The “Split Image” feature allows you to split a big image into multiple individual posts.
These individual posts will form a bigger picture in your grid – see below. This is useful to create a new product reveal or an Instagram Puzzle Feed.
7. Free Photos
Don’t have any photos to post? Want some filler photos to make your feed look better?
- Use the “Free Photos” feature
- Type any keyword in the search bar
There are over 1 million beautiful photos available.
You can use as many photos as you want and do whatever you want with them. You can edit them if you want to. Crediting the photographer is not required, however it is appreciated if you want to.
Next is the “Placeholder” option.
This is for you if you are posting Reels and IGTVs on Instagram.
You will notice that your posted feed appears in Preview, to make it easier to plan your future posts.
Sometimes, your posted Reels / IGTVs might not appear.
If they do not appear, use the “Placeholder” feature to make them appear.
9. Top 9
The last option on your screen is the “Top 9” feature.
What is it?
Every end of the year, it is a worldwide tradition on Instagram to share on your feed your “Top 9” post of the year. The “Top 9” is a collage of your 9 most popular posts of the year.
Preview automatically creates the collage for you, with the total number of likes and comments you got during the year.
Join the trend every December, and share your Top 9 with your followers. Thank them for their support this year.
10. Rearrange the order of your posts
Want to change the order of your posts?
You have 3 options:
- Drag and Drop: Hold your finger pressed on a photo and drag it
- Swap: Select 2 photos you want to swap places
- Shuffle: Select more than 2 photos and press the “shuffle arrows” icon
Instagram doesn’t allow anyone to rearrange or edit photos that are already posted on Instagram. It is against their Rules and Policies. The post you have already posted are fixed. Use Preview App to plan your future posts and see how your feed will look like before you post on Instagram.
11. Delete posts
Want to delete a post you’ve uploaded in Preview?
- Select the post(s)
- A menu bar will appear at the bottom of your screen
- Press on the “bin” icon
12. Edit photos
As you can see, there are other options in the menu bar.
Let’s talk about editing first.
Preview has hundreds of beautiful Instagram filters and presets to help you make your feed look beautiful and cohesive.
To edit photos:
- Press on one photo
- Press on the “circle” icon
What you see:
- The filters are at the bottom of your screen
- The Editing Tools button on the top left
- The Filter Packs button on the top right
Let’s look at the Editing Tools.
- Press on the “Editing Tools” button
- You will see the essential editing tools like contrast, saturation, crop, adding text, etc…
Let’s look at the Filter Packs:
Press on the “Filter Packs” button on top of your screen.
You will see all the Filter Packs available. There are filters for a lot of different types of photos and accounts. The most popular filter packs in Preview are:
You can see other useful tools like:
- The Caption Finder
- The Hashtag Finder
- Your Hashtag Groups
Keep scrolling to see how to use them.
14. Fonts, symbols and characters
Want to use fonts for your caption, Instagram bio or Stories?
- Tap on the caption box (as if you were to start writing your caption)
- Press on “aA” or another option on top of your keyboard (strikethrough, underline, kaomoji or symbols)
16. The Hashtag Finder
Not sure what hashtags to use for your account?
Press on “Find Hashtags“.
- Hashtag research and strategy done for you
- We personally and manually research and select every single hashtag
- We create a powerful mix of hashtags to help you grow your account (large, medium, small, niche, community and hashtags to help you get featured)
- Hashtags for different accounts, countries, posts, businesses, ideal clients / customers and even Instagram communities.
Type a keyword in the search bar to see the recommended hashtag groups for you.
Want to know if your hashtag group performs well?
Check your Preview Analytics. Preview will automatically test your hashtag groups. You will be able to see which one helps you grow your account. Preview will show you which ones give you the most likes, comments and engagement. This feature is available on Pro and Premium members.
To schedule your post:
Turn on the “Schedule Post” button.
19. Change your timezone
Are you a social media manager and your client lives in a different city or country? And you need to post in their timezone?
Or maybe you want to post when your followers are the most active, but they live in a different country?
Choose a different timezone. Preview will automatically convert the timezone for you and notify you to post at the right time. If you use the auto-post feature, Preview will post at your selected timezone.
Want Preview to automatically post on Instagram for you?
Turn on the “Auto-post” button.
Instagram only allows other apps and websites to automatically post photos and videos at the moment. It is against their Rules and Policies to automatically post carousels, Reels, IGTVs and Insta Stories. Preview has been officially approved and reviewed by Instagram to keep your account safe. We will add auto-post for other types of posts if Instagram ever allows it.
21. Tag people and location
Want to tag people and a location in advance?
Tap on “Tag people” and “Add location“.
22. First comment auto-post
Want to Preview to automatically post your hashtags or text in the comments, when it auto-posts?
Add them in the “Add first comment” box.
23. Replace the post
Don’t want the photo or video you uploaded anymore? Want to change it to another image but don’t want lose your caption and schedule?
- Tap on “Edit“
- “Replace Media“
- Choose a new photo or video
24. Change video cover image
Did you upload a video, Reels or IGTV?
Want to test your cover image or change the thumbnail?
Tap on “Edit”
Move the slider to choose a thumbnail based on your video
Tap “Upload Image” to upload your custom cover image from your camera roll
25. Plan your Reels
Want to plan your Reels?
Or save your Reels in case Instagram deletes your drafts?
- Tap on the “Reels” button
- Press + to upload your videos
- Rearrange the order of your videos
- Prepare your Reels caption
- Set your cover image
- Turn on “Show in Feed” to preview your Reels in your main grid
26. Plan your IGTVs
You can also plan your IGTVs in Preview.
- Tap on the “IGTV” icon on top of your grid
- Press + to upload your video
- Prepare your caption
- Set your cover image
- Turn on “Show in Feed” to preview your IGTV in your main grid
27. Plan your Instagram Stories
Want to plan your Instagram Stories too?
Want to organize your content for your upcoming campaign or launch?
- Tap on the “Insta Story” button on top of your grid
- Press + to upload your Stories
- Rearrange the order of your Stories
- Prepare your link (for your Link sticker)
- Watch your Stories as if you already posted them on Instagram
28. See your calendar
Now that you have scheduled your content, you can view your Calendar.
Press on the “Calendar” button.
See what you have planned for the day, week and month.
29. Post on Instagram
If you didn’t use the auto-post feature, you will receive a notification when it is time to post.
Here is how to post on Instagram:
- Press on the photo you want to post
- Press the “Share” button
- Your Instagram app will open up
- Choose to post on your “Feed” or “Story”
- Paste your caption on Instagram (Preview automatically copied it for you)
Note: If you are posting a carousel:
- Press on the “Album” button on Instagram (see image above)
- Then select more photos / videos from your camera roll to complete your carousel
31. Hide comments
Did you receive a comment you don’t want to see? Or that you don’t want others to see?
But you don’t want to delete it, in case the person who commented notices it?
Hide the comment.
The person will not know you hid it. They will see their comment. But nobody else will see it.
32. Quick post analytics
Want to quickly check how your post is going after you’ve posted it?
- Press on the posted post in Preview
- Press on the “Analytics” button
- See your analytics summary for this post (how many likes, comments, saves, impressions, reach and engagement you got)
33. Full analytics
You can also see your full analytics and insights.
Check how your account is going overall.
- Weekly Wrap
- Top Posts
- Growth: Are you getting more followers? More likes? Comments? Reach? Impressions? Clicks on the link in your bio?
- Engagement growth
- Top Hashtags: What hashtags are working the best for you?
- Top Hashtag groups
- Best time to post
- Tap on the “Analytics” button on top of your feed.
- Press “See More” to reveal more insights.
See all the Analytics Tools in Preview – including the hidden features.
34. Insights about your followers
Want to see who your followers are? Where are they from? Which city is the most popular? How old are they?
Tap on the “People” button on top of your screen:
35. Competitor Analytics
See your competitors or fellow content creators’:
- Top Posts
- Top Hashtags
- Best time & day to post
Here is how to see their insights:
- Press on the “Search” button to open the Competitor Analytics tool
- Type the competitor’s username
Want to keep an eye on this account?
Press on the “Bookmark” to save it and to check it at any time.
Save as many accounts as you want.
36. Add more Instagram accounts
Want to manage multiple Instagram accounts in Preview?
- Press on your username on top of your grid
- Press “+ Add Account”
- Select the Pro or Premium plan
37. Your Settings
Finally, let’s look at your settings.
This is where you can upgrade, manage your subscription, and access other tools like the “Team” tools or your Hashtag Groups (more about these below).
38. Remove your planned posts from your Preview feed after you post them
After you post on Instagram, your planned posts will still appear in your Preview feed.
This is normal.
You have 2 options:
- Manually delete the post after you’ve posted it on Instagram (as seen in Step 11), or
- Turn on “Remove published posts” in your settings
39. Manage your hashtag groups
Want to create new hashtag groups but don’t want to open your caption like in Step 17?
Or maybe you want to edit your current hashtag groups?
Press on “Hashtag Groups” in your settings:
40. Add Team Members
- Want to invite your team member to plan your feed?
- Or maybe you want to invite your social media manager to schedule your posts in Preview?
- Or maybe you want to invite your client to preview the content and check the captions?
Whichever scenario, you can share your Preview account with as many people as you want.
The Team feature is available on the Premium plan. You only need one plan for your entire team; not one plan per person.
You have 2 options:
- Give your Instagram password so they can login to your Preview account from their phone, or
- Add them as Team Members in your the settings
When you invite them as a team member, you can give them special permissions (see the image below). For example, you can allow them to see your analytics, receive notifications, edit your feed or reply to comments.
Want to plan with your team? See the tutorial.
41. Content Calendar
And finally, there are extra features available on Preview Desktop.
Like the Content Calendar:
The Content Calendar has key holidays and social media holidays you can join throughout the year.
You can use it to come up with post ideas that are relevant during the year.
Instagrammers love to join social media holidays and create content related to these holidays.
For example, Instagram becomes a party during days like “Coffee Day” or “Puppy Day”.
Having the Content Calendar in front of your eyes will help you keep track of all the trends – so you can join the fun and post relevant content.
Drag a post from your feed to the Calendar to schedule it quickly.